Prize for animal-free antibodies
Antibodies are one of the most ubiquitously used tools in research, diagnostics, therapeutics and regulatory procedures. Although modern and precise animal-free methods for antibody generation, e.g. through phage display, have been available for decades, the vast majority of antibodies for research purposes are still being produced in animals, leading to immense animal suffering and loss of animal lives. According to one estimation, approximately 1 million animals are used each year for antibody development and production in the EU alone. (1)
In 2020, the EU Reference Laboratory for alternatives to animal testing (EURL ECVAM) published a “Recommendation on non-animal-derived antibodies” stating that „there is a solid body of evidence demonstrating that there are no general or systematic disadvantages of non-animal-derived antibodies with respect to properties such as affinity, stability/shelf life, and specificity.” (2) The recommendation concludes that animals should no longer be used for the development and production of antibodies and EU member states should no longer authorize these procedures.
To raise awareness about the advantages of animal-free antibodies and promote their development and application, the European Coalition to End Animal Experiments (ECEAE) is happy to announce for the first time a unique Prize for animal-free antibodies. The aim of this prize is to highlight the versatility and superiority of animal-free antibodies and encourage their acceptance and use for research and therapeutic purposes.
The applicants must fulfill the following criteria:
- The application should focus on the innovative development and / or application of animal-free antibodies for research or medical purposes
- The application can be for ongoing or completed projects
- The project must not contain any animal experiments or animal-derived products such as fetal calf serum (FCS), bovine serum albumin (BSA), milk powder, etc.
- The applicants must be based on the continent of Europe. Applicants from EU and non-EU member states in Europe are welcome to apply
- The applicants must be prepared to accept the prize at an event in Brussels in spring of 2022, and give a short presentation. Travel expenses will be covered
Prize amount and award ceremony
The prize amounts to €10.000 and can be awarded to an individual researcher or a researcher consortium, a university department, an industrial company or other type of research facility. The prize will be awarded at an event in Brussels in March/April 2022.
Please submit the following application documents in English:
- A project description containing title, abstract, short background, research aims, methodological procedures, time plan and project milestones (for ongoing projects) or outcomes of the project (for completed projects). The project description should be focused on the development or application of animal-free antibodies and it should include a declaration that no animal experiments were performed and no animal-derived materials were used, including in buffers, cell media, blotting reagents, etc. (up to 6 pages).
- A description of the applicant’s motivation to develop and / or use animal-free antibodies (1 page).
- A tabular curriculum vitae of the applicant with a publication list.
15. January 2022
Dr. Dilyana Filipova
1. EU Science Hub - European Commission: Better antibodies without using animals. 11.5.2020
2. Viegas Barroso JF et al. EURL ECVAM recommendation on non-animal-derived antibodies, Publications Office of the European Union, 2020