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EURL ECVAM Recommendation on Non-Animal-Derived Antibodies

– 15. 05. 2020 –

Non-animal derived antibodies


Affinity reagents are binding molecules that have a high specificity for their unique target (antigen). They are crucial tools for research, diagnostics, therapeutic and regulatory applications. Based on their recognition properties and binding specificity, protein-based antibodies are currently still the most important tools for the specific detection of proteins or other molecules. The development and production of monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies as well as other affinity reagents is still involving animals despite the availability of technologies that do not entail the use of animals. In line with the legal requirements of EU Directive 2010/63/EU on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, animals should not be used in procedures, where a non-animal alternative exists, which provide the same or higher level of information as obtained from animal procedures.

For this reason, the EU Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL ECVAM) mandated its Scientific Advisory Committee (ESAC) to review the available evidence and deliver an opinion on the scientific validity of antibodies and non-antibody affinity reagents produced using animal-free technologies. The review focused on non-animal-derived antibodies generated by phage-display technology since this is the most mature technology and already widely used. Taking into consideration the available evidence, the ESAC endorsed an opinion on the suitability of existing animal-free technologies to produce affinity reagents with equal or better quality (purity, activity, specificity, affinity, stability, reproducibility) than that offered by antibodies produced using the conventional animal-based methods. In addition, ESAC commented on the scientific benefits of using animal-free affinity reagents and assessed whether there are any production and/or application scenarios for which these are not fit-for-purpose and animal-derived antibodies are still indispensable. This science-for-policy report describes the EURL ECVAM recommendations on non-animal-derived antibodies developed on the basis of the ESAC Opinion (Annex 1) and its detailed Working Group Report (Annex 2).

Authors: VIEGAS BARROSO Joao Filipe, HALDER Maria Elisabeth, WHELAN Maurice

Publication Year: 2020

Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports

Science Areas:

Publisher: Publications: Office of the European Union

ISBN: 978-92-76-18346-4 (online)

ISSN: 1831-9424 (online)

DOI: 10.2760/80554 (online)


Viegas Barroso, J., Halder, M. and Whelan, M., EURL ECVAM Recommendation on Non-Animal-Derived Antibodies, EUR 30185 EN, Publications Office of the European Union, Luxembourg, 2020, ISBN 978-92-76-18346-4 (online),978-92-76-18347-1 (print), doi:10.2760/80554 (online),10.2760/091625 (print), JRC120199.


We have the new info materials!

– 15. 01. 2020 –

New info materials

We have published the report from the special section of the TOXCON 2019 dedicated to the implementation of the 3R in Slovakia and also prepared the informational leaflet and poster about alternative approaches.


EUSAAT Congress
EUSAAT Congress, Linz, Austria 

– 13. 11. 2019 –

EUSAAT, the European Society for Alternatives to Animal Testing, is the European 3Rs Society. EUSAAT is actively promoting the protection of experimental animals according to the 3Rs-Principle (refine - reduce - replace) developed by Bill Russel und Rex Burch in 1959 in their ground-breaking book “The Principles of Humane Experimental Technique”. EUSAAT is serving as a European 3Rs platform by offering expertise and networking, and supporting educational programs in close cooperation with NGOs, regulators, research institutions and industry to improve and implement humane experimental techniques as wells as advanced in silico and in vitro methods.

To achieve these goals EUSAAT is hosting the European 3Rs congresses at the University of Linz/Austria, which was started by local animal welfare groups in 1991.

In 2019 EUSAAT hold its annual conference on 10 - 13 October 2019 at the University of Linz/Austria.

The activities of SNP3R platform were be presented by Dr. Kandarova, on October 12 (see book of ABSTRACTS) and during the Round Table Discussion on 3Rs Centers the same day between 17:00-19:00.

3Rs centers.jpg

The tradition of Round Table Discussion on the theme of 3Rs centers was an initiative of EUSAAT Congress aiming into a better collaboration and exchange between the Europan 3Rs centers.  Debaters shared experiences on: 

1. Dissemination of 3Rs

2. Assessment of Quality/Implementation of 3Rs

3. Education

4. Scientific transferability 

The Slovak National Platform for 3Rs was represented by Dr. Helena Kandarova. Other discussing partners were: Dr. Dagmar Jirova  EUSAAT vice-president and Chair of the Czech Centre, Dr. Györgyi Szabó (Semmelweis university in Hungary), Dr. Hajime Kojima (Japanese and Asian 3Rs centers), Dr. Adrian Smith (representative of NORECOPA). Mrs. Annemarie Lang (Charite 3Rs center in Germany). The discussion was moderated by EUSAAT President Dr. Winfried Neuhaus (Austria).

EUSAAT 3R centers Round Tabl;e .jpg
TOXCON 2019 

Slovak Toxicology Society SETOX,  Centre of Experimental Medicine, Institute of Experimental Pharmacology & Toxicology SAS  and Czech Society for Experimental & Clinical Pharmacology & Toxicology were organizing 24th Interdisciplinary Toxicology Conference at Congress Center Hotel SITNO****, Vyhne, June 26-28, 2019.

There was a specialized session highlighting the implementation of 3Rs concepts in toxicology (IMPLEMENTATION OF 3R IN SLOVAKIA). 


Visit TOXCON 2019 website to get more information about the event and its scientific program.

Session 3Rs in SLovakia.jpg
Symposium of the Virtual Center for Replacement/Complementary Methods
to Animal Testing (VZET), March 27-28, 2019

The third Symposium of the Virtual Center for Replacement/ Complementary Methods to Animal Testing (VZET) was held at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation (TiHo), in Hannover, Germany on March 27-28, 2019 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the VZET. The Center was established to optimize method development and teaching in the field of veterinary medicine based on the 3Rs.

SNP3Rs and SETOX were represented on the meeting by Dr Helena Kandarova who elaborated on three-dimensional reconstructed human skin models and their possible applications in regulatory use and biomedical research. 

Full meeting report is available here: ALTEX 36(3), 2019

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