New Insulin Pill Shows Positive Results in Rodent Models

A new insulin pill has shown positive results in a Harvard study with rodents, researchers say. While the concept of the insulin pill is not new, there are currently no products available on the commercial market. The biggest challenge with an insulin pill is that the digestive system tends to break down and destroy insulin itself.

The Harvard researchers tried a new approach with their version of the insulin pill by dispersing the insulin in liquid made from choline and geranic acid. When administered to rats, their blood sugar levels fell by about half, the effects lasting four hours. The researchers theorize the suspension of the insulin in the choline/geranic acid liquid prevents the digestive system from destroying the medicine, allowing it to be absorbed into the blood stream.

The researchers concluded, “Evidence from cell and animal studies supports a promising prospect of development of the formulation into a clinical product." You can read the full findings online via Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Are We on the Cusp of Finding an AIDS Vaccine?

With the help of nonhuman primates (NHP), French researchers may be close to answering the nearly 40-year old riddle that is AIDS.

On July 6, AFP reported that scientists had successfully tested the vaccine dubbed HVTN705 or "Imbokodo" in monkeys, shielding them from infection and triggering an immune response. It now moves to the next phase where it will be tested in 2,600 women in southern Africa. The results from the trial are expected in 2021 or 2022.

While we must be cautiously optimistic that Imbokodo will be successful in humans, this represents a great leap forward, thanks to the assistance of NHP models. A Harvard Medical School professor notes in the article that in the nearly 40-year history of AIDS, this is just the fifth vaccine concept to make it to the efficacy stage in people.

The Independent, The Telegraph, Science Alert, and ScienceDaily also featured coverage.

Targeted Professor Pens Letter Defending Her Research

Dr. Tania Roth, the University of Delaware researcher who has recently found herself targeted by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), wrote a piece in Delaware Online standing up for her neuroscience research and the vital role that animals play in medical advancement.

Besides breaking down the legal and regulatory framework she must follow, Roth very astutely notes, “The use of animal models in the research process is pivotal, and provides us with the tools necessary to better study the brain. By understanding basic neuroscience, where scientific knowledge begins, we can discover breakthroughs that will eventually lead to new therapies and offer hope to children and families all around the world.”

Click here to read Roth’s piece, and please take a moment to leave a comment in support of Roth.

Have You Registered for ‘Q&A with the USDA?’

If you haven’t yet reserved your spot for NABR’s next webinar on Tuesday, July 24, please do so ASAP. NABR once again welcomes Drs. Elizabeth Meek and Bill Stokes, the Eastern and Western Region Assistant Directors for Animal Welfare Operations, to its headquarters for the Sixth Edition of "Q&A with the USDA." Drs. Meek and Stokes are directly responsible for the oversight of the inspection and reporting process. NABR members will have a unique opportunity like none other, to ask questions directly to the leadership of the USDA Animal Care’s Animal Welfare Operations. Mark your calendars.

All questions must be submitted in advance to They will be reviewed and formatted to prevent duplication and will be answered in the order they are received, so please submit them as soon as possible. We will schedule the session for an hour (12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Eastern), but will continue the webinar until all questions have been answered.

NhRP Files Second Habeas Petition on Behalf of Elephants

The Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP) is making a second attempt to remove three elephants from a Goshen, CT petting zoo. In their habeas corpus petition on behalf of the elephants, NhRP claims the animals are autonomous beings which deserve bodily freedom. NhRP seeks to remove the elephants from the zoo and relocate them to a California-based sanctuary.

A previous ruling by Litchfield Superior Court Judge James Bentivegna in December of 2017 stated NhRP’s first attempt at habeas corpus for the elephants was “wholly frivolous” and NhRP had no standing in the state of Connecticut. NhRP founder and attorney, Steven Wise, is pinning his hopes on a recent opinion from a New York Court of Appeals ruling from May. In the May ruling, the court refused to grant a pair of chimpanzees personhood however Judge Fahey wrote in a concurring opinion, “While it may be arguable that a chimpanzee is not a ‘person,’ there is no doubt that it is not merely a thing.”

The goal of NhRP is to find a court which is willing to assert that animals have the same legal protections as humans, which would likely open a Pandora’s Box of problems for the animal research community should the effort succeed. Wise and the NhRP have been largely unsuccessful thus far in their efforts. However, the research community should be cognizant of the fact that these legal attempts to grant animals personhood will continue, and will negatively impact, or halt, research if they are not defeated.

NIH Issues RFI on Assessing the Safety of Relocating At-Risk Chimpanzees

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) issued a Request for Information (RFI) on June 11 in the Federal Register titled, “Input on Report from Council of Councils on Assessing the Safety of Relocating At-Risk Chimpanzees.” This RFI stems from the 2015 decision by NIH Director Francis Collins that all NIH-owned chimpanzees should be retired and relocated to the chimpanzee sanctuary, Chimp Haven, in Keithville, LA. However, many of the NIH-owned chimpanzees are of an advanced age and relocation has caused unnecessary stress on several of them. Additionally, there have been an alarming number of deaths of retired chimpanzees after relocation to Chimp Haven during the past several years.

The NIH posted the notice in the Federal Register to inform the research community, and other interested parties, that it has received a report from the Council of Councils Working Group on Assessing the Safety of Relocating At-Risk Chimpanzees. The NIH will consider the recommendations in the report and is inviting the public to comment in response the RFI. This RFI is open for public comment for a period of 60 days and comments must be submitted by August 10, 2018. Comments must be submitted electronically here:

National Review Provides Positive Coverage of Animal Research and Testing

Research with animal models continues to be critically important for breakthroughs in modern medicine. Yet, it is frequently under assault by recognizable and lesser known animal rights groups who oppose the use of animals in ethical and humane research. Yesterday, the National Review printed a piece that we think you should read, covering the benefits of animal research and explaining why science needs animals for lifesaving and life-improving research.

A recent discovery in gene therapy to repair spinal cord damage in rats was notably highlighted as a prime example how animal research is vital.

Please click here to read yesterday’s National Review piece and feel free to share it with your friends, family, colleagues, and social media.

Positive Change in Public Attitudes on Animal Testing and Research

According to a Gallup Poll released last week, 54% of Americans view medical testing on animals as morally acceptable. While this number still represents a significant decrease from 65% in 2001 when Gallup began tracking responses on this topic, it demonstrates a modest increase from last year’s results of 51%.

Public support is one reason why NABR’s sister organization, the Foundation for Biomedical Research, developed the "Love Animals?" campaign, which is aimed at animal lovers everywhere. Contact for your copy.

FBR President Pens Thought-Provoking Piece in The Washington Times

The Washington Times ran an opinion piece by Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) President Matthew Bailey on Wednesday detailing the discoveries that animal research delivers to both humans and their beloved pets. The piece starts with the story of Dover, a 7-year-old bull mastiff suffering from lymphoma which caused him to go blind. Dover was enrolled in a clinical trial at Tufts University and the results were fantastic. The treatment restored the dog’s sight overnight and currently his cancer is in remission.

Take another example from the University of Pennsylvania, where researchers are working to save dogs with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer. Researchers there have developed genetically-modified bacteria that, once injected, enables the dog’s own immune system to attack the tumors. At University of California, Davis they have tested a treatment for heart disease which affects 1 out of 7 cats. UC Davis and Kansas State University have also teamed up to develop an antiviral drug to combat feline infectious peritonitis.

It is important for the research community to showcase stories like these because they illustrate the focus of FBR’s latest campaign, “Love Animals? Support Animal Research”  because animal lovers should be the most ardent supporters of animal research. Animal research not only saves human lives, but also many pets, as well. Forty-three million U.S. households have a dog, thirty-one million have a cat, and ninety percent of those Americans consider their pets part of their family. Unfortunately, our beloved pets suffer from cancer, diabetes, kidney and heart disease, and other ailments, just like their human counterparts. But animal research can provide hope for our furry family members while providing a foundation of scientific data and understanding to treat humans. To read Bailey’s piece click here and be sure to visit to learn more about FBR’s “Love Animals? Support Animal Research” campaign.

Non-Human Primates Critical to Development of New Migraine Medication

The Hill reported on May 17 that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a new medication to prevent migraine headaches. The new drug is called erenumab-aooe, trademarked as Aimovig, and is produced by Amgen and Novartis. In trials, Aimovig helped patients experience at least a 50 percent reduction in the total number of days in which they suffered a migraine.

Nonhuman primate (NHP) research was critical to testing the drug’s safety for pregnant woman and their unborn children. The FDA states, “No adverse effects on offspring were observed when pregnant monkeys were administered erenumab-aooe throughout gestation. Serum erenumab-aooe exposures in pregnant monkeys were greater than those in humans at clinical doses.”

Nonhuman primates have been, and will continue to be, critical to medical research. The Foundation for Biomedical Research (FBR) provides an excellent white paper and brochure on this topic, and we encourage you to read both.

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