Translation failure occurs when a treatment shown to be safe and effective in one type of population does not produce the same result in another. We are currently in a crisis involving the translatability of preclinical studies to human populations. Animal trials are no better than a coin toss at predicting the safety and efficacy of drugs in human trials, and the high failure rate of drugs entering human trials suggests that most of the suffering of laboratory animals is futile, creating no commensurate benefit for human patients. Here, I argue that animal ethics committees have a role to play in getting us out of this crisis. Inadequate representation is a known contributor to translation failures and is a matter of both scientific and ethical concern. Ethical review committees have the authority to address it by reprioritising the values already enshrined in their guiding principles.
- Animal Experimentation
- Clinical Trial
- Ethics- Research
Data availability statement
Data sharing not applicable as no datasets generated and/or analysed for this study.
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Contributors MP is the sole author, contributor and guarantor for the overall content of the paper.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.