New guidelines for human-animal hybrids research released

The Home Office today announced the publication of new guidelines on the use of animals containing human material such as tissues and genetic information, based on the recommendations of the Academy's 2011 report Animals containing human material.

Professor Martin Bobrow FMedSci, chair of the working group that produced the report, welcoming the new guidelines, said:

"Research using animals containing human material (ACHM), is an area of huge potential, but one that also requires a robust ethical and regulatory framework to develop within.

"In 2011 I chaired a report that considered the many scientific, social, ethical, safety and regulatory aspects of research involving ACHM and we identified some areas that were at the borderline between three different areas of legislation. We recommended guidance for researchers to ensure they are properly regulated so I am pleased that this guidance has now been published by the Home Office."

Professor Sir Robert Lechler, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said:

"Research involving introducing human tissues or genetic information into animals has the potential to yield great advances in biomedical science, especially in the understanding and treatment of disease.

"I am delighted to see that the Home Office followed the Academy's recommendation and has developed its guidance to bring clarity in the regulatory pathways for this research; guidance aimed at ensuring a co-ordinated and consistent approach to regulating this field of research.

"Along with the great potential of this research to advance our knowledge of health and diseases, there are important moral and ethical issues that must continue to be explored."


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