Medical research is a long and difficult process that requires an extensive list of questions to be answered before a drug is considered suitable for human trials and ultimately for widespread use. Further, animal research has played a major role in providing the answers needed to drive ongoing improvements in human health.
Animal research has driven advancements in the treatment of infections, been critical in the development of new vaccines, led to new therapeutics for the treatment of cancer treatment, and has had major impacts on the management of heart disease, neurological disorders, autoimmune diseases and transplantation. Approximately 70% of the Nobel prizes granted for Physiology or Medicine used in vivo research. Without animal research, polio would still claim thousands of lives, and many vaccines would not exist. However, now millions of people are living healthy lives otherwise claimed by what are now preventable diseases.
Recent advances in research tools have been incredible. Non-animal methods now account for about 90% of medical research with much of the work formerly done in animals now being done through mathematical and computer models, in vitro cellular models and by non-invasive imaging. Many key questions remain answerable only by animal research, however.
At Horizon, we undertake our work with a great sense of responsibility, compassion and care. The rodent models we develop are designed to address the most difficult challenges that medical research has to offer and are ideally suited towards realizing the promise of personalized medicine. Genetically defined animal models are specifically targeted to a disease, biochemical pathway or genotype and so far fewer animals are required to provide the answers sought. Additionally, as these precisely generated models are mimics of human disease, they are highly effective bridges to translate genomic information into actionable therapeutics.
Our animal facilities are independently monitored by an Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC), which evaluates all proposed research and protocols. Comprised of scientists, nonscientists, community members, and veterinarians from the local community, the group closely oversees research and ensures that it is conducted in accordance with all provisions of the PHS Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals.