Shocking images have emerged from a German lab where animal testing is being conducted. The photos show how monkeys and dogs are being abused. The Ghent-based biotech player Argenx starts an investigation into the video. “These are images that scare us,” says spokesperson Joke Comijn. If the images are real, the contract with the Hamburg LPT may be terminated. (Note: the photos below may not be for sensitive viewers.)
Argenx investigates the authenticity and circumstances of a film clip made by the German animal rights organization Soko Tierschutz and the British Cruelty-Free. The shocking images, which can be viewed on YouTube, show, among other things, a frightened dog in a pool of blood next to fellow dogs hung on a meat hook. Monkeys are tied to arms, legs and head.
“We work with animal tests to test potential medicines. That is not exceptional for biotech companies and is done in accordance with European regulations,” says Comijn. “Animal welfare comes first in this.” Argenx distances itself from the actions that can be seen on some images because animal welfare “clearly does not take precedence over it.”
Argenx wants to “investigate the authenticity and then understand what happened here,” the spokesman continues. “We are going to make it clear to LPT that we do not agree with this. That investigation must be completed as quickly as possible. ”If the images are authentic, Argenx will “take steps”.
Not only does Argenx, a Zwijnaard Science Park company, use the services of the LPT (Laboratory for Pharmacology and Toxicology), based in Hamburg. Ablynx is also located in the same industrial park, which conducts cancer research.
That company, which was taken over by the French group Sanofi for almost 4 billion euros last year, is also shocked. “This completely contradicts the way we work,” says spokesperson Sophie van Wel from Sanofi. We have strict procedures, and our internal standards are very high. “If the external partner does not comply, the contract is terminated immediately.”
“Unfortunately, it is still necessary to do animal tests,” continues van Wel. “We try to reduce that as much as possible with methods such as in vitro studies and computer models. We only use animal testing if there is no other way. But that must be done with respect for the animal,” it still sounds.