Animals in Research

Treatments created by Genzyme have a major positive – and often life-saving – impact on people with serious medical conditions. Animals play a vital role in the development of our therapies, and we are committed to the highest ethical standards in their use.
Why Animal Research?

The patients we treat suffer from a wide range of serious, debilitating, and often life-threatening conditions. These include genetic diseases such as lysosomal storage disorders, renal disease and cancer, orthopedic conditions, and more. Genzyme develops and manufactures treatments for these medical conditions – in some cases the only available therapies. We're also advancing potential breakthrough new treatments for cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, and many others.

None of our work would be possible without the use of animals, which are crucial to the discovery, development, research, and production of new treatments. By law, all human medicines must first be tested for safety in animals before they can be tested for safety and efficacy in humans. Legal requirements aside, animal models also provide a holistic way to study disease mechanisms, therapeutic benefits, and other issues that cannot be fully understood at the molecular level. For these reasons animal research is a necessary part of getting vital treatments to patients.

Adhering to Laws and Guidelines

In the United States, Europe, and Japan, the laws that require safety testing in animals also set strict standards that govern the way animal research is performed. Genzyme operates in full compliance with the letter and spirit of all applicable laws and guidelines, including (but not limited to) the following:

  • U.S. Animal Welfare Act
  • Health Research Extension Act
  • National Institutes of Health's "Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals"
  • Relevant European guidelines

Our research facilities worldwide are fully accredited by either the American Association for the Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care or its international equivalents. All studies we perform or participate in are reviewed, approved, and monitored by our internal Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee for adherence to policies and protocols defined by federal agencies.

Following Ethical and Humane Practices

Legal requirements are only one part of ethical research. Genzyme and the companies we work with view our use of animals as a privilege, not a right. As such, we are guided by three overarching goals:

  • Reduce the number of animals used
  • Replace animal experiments with alternatives wherever possible
  • Refine all procedures in order to avoid discomfort

We make every effort to avoid or minimize any pain and distress to animals, and to ensure that all standards of care are met or exceeded. We know that good animal care is vital to good science, and that it directly contributes to our ability to bring new hope to patients with serious diseases.

What's in the Pipeline?

Exciting new advances in medicine are featured in our interactive pipeline, which highlights our key research from phase 1 clinical trials to post-marketing studies.

Last Updated: 11/9/2012
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