Friday, 6 July 2018

The Last Days of the Blue-Blood Harvest


An interesting article in The Atlantic on the use of the horse-shoe crab for manufacturing endotoxin test reagents.

Some extracts of interest:

“Every year, more than 400,000 crabs are bled for the miraculous medical substance that flows through their bodies—now pharmaceutical companies are finally committing to an alternative that doesn't harm animals.”

Horseshoe crabs bled for the biomedical use in the United States are returned to the ocean, but an estimated 50,000 also die in the process every year.”

“A synthetic substitute for horseshoe-crab blood has been available for 15 years. This is a story about how scientists quietly managed to outdo millions of years of evolution, and why it has taken the rest of the world so long to catch up.”

“On the regulatory side, the European Pharmacopoeia added recombinant factor C as an accepted bacterial-toxin test in 2016, paving the way for change in the United States. A number of pharmaceutical companies, most notably Eli Lilly, have compared the effectiveness of recombinant factor C and LAL”

See the Atlantic - https://www.theatlantic.com/amp/article/559229

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle

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