UK charity Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments (FRAME) has completed a £240,000 overhaul of the laboratory at the University of Nottingham, where it explores alternatives to animal testing in medical research.

The new FRAME Alternatives Laboratory, sited in the university’s medical school, will be officially opened by Ed Balls, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, on July 6. The charity’s only research facility is run as a FRAME/Nottingham University collaboration and has been located at the university for the last 25 years. The laboratory has now been expanded and “completely remodelled” to hasten the development of effective non-animal techniques, FRAME said.

“The new FRAME laboratories will provide a wonderful facility that will take our research into human cell culture-based alternatives forward,” commented director Dr Andy Bennett.

Alternative testing

FRAME advocates the use of alternative methods to animal testing, such as computer modelling or cell and tissue cultures, by pursuing the ‘Three Rs’ strategy (refinement, reduction and replacement) supported by the UK government and the pharmaceutical industry.

It recognises that “immediate abolition of all animal experiments is not possible, because vital medical research must continue to find treatments for diseases which lessen the quality of human and animal life.”