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Botox maker reduces animal tests

Irvine, Calif. — Allergan, maker of Botox (onabotulinumtoxinA), announced that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the company’s new, animal-friendly method for testing the drug’s potency, the online Los Angeles Times reports.

Allergan had been testing every Botox batch on live animals, but can now run a test on cells in a lab dish. Company officials say if the new test, which took a decade to perfect, is approved in all the countries where Botox is sold, Allergan could eliminate the need for at least 95 percent of its animal testing within three years.

U.S. agencies have already approved alternative tests to replace many experiments on animals’ eyes and skin. Scientists are now developing tests for toxins that cause organ damage, birth defects and other problems. These new tests could make animal toxicity experiments obsolete in the next 10 to 20 years, according to a spokesman at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research in Silver Spring, Md.

Experts say that in addition to being more humane, these tests often promise better, faster and more cost-effective results than the classic mice or rabbit tests.

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