The future of preclinical animal models in pharmaceutical discovery and development: a need to bring in cerebro to the in vivo discussions.
Animal models have provided an important tool to help make the decision to take potential therapies from preclinical studies to humans. In the past several years, the strong reliance of the pharmaceutical discovery and development process on the use of animal models has come under increasing scrutiny for ethical and scientific reasons. Several prominent and widely publicized articles have reported limited concordance of animal experiments with subsequent human clinical trials. Recent assessments of the quality of animal studies have suggested that this translational failure may be due in part to shortcomings in the planning, conduct, and reporting of in vivo studies. This article will emphasize methods to assure best practice rigor in animal study methods and reporting. It will introduce the so-called scientific 3Rs of relevance, robustness, and reproducibility to the in vivo study approach and will review important new trends in the animal research and pharmaceutical discovery and development communities.
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