WASHINGTON, Sept. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Vanda) (Nasdaq: VNDA), a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies to address high unmet medical needs and improve the lives of patients, commends the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for yesterday's pledge "to aggressively reduce animal testing" with the goal of "completely eliminating them by 2035." The EPA also shared that it has provided grants to identify and validate alternative testing methods.
The EPA's announcement builds off of efforts it made in 2016 and 2018 to fulfill its commitment to the "use of cutting-edge science" as opposed to antiquated animal testing. Furthermore, this action comes on the heels of other government agencies taking steps to eliminate unnecessary animal testing. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) halted the use of cats to test foods after more than 3,000 cats were killed in experiments, and the Veteran's Administration (VA) stopped experiments involving dogs.
"Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) stands as a gross outlier in the federal government as it relates to their outdated requirement to unnecessarily test and kill dogs," said Mihael H. Polymeropoulos, M.D., Vanda's President and CEO. "While other agencies in the FDA's regulatory ecosystem have aggressively sought to leverage technological advances to eliminate their reliance on animal testing, the FDA lags behind them, the broader science community, and the American public. By not changing its outmoded approach of forcing companies to conduct unnecessary tests on dogs, the FDA not only misses the opportunity to improve safety, but also pointlessly impedes the delivery of innovative new drugs to patients who need them."
In February, Vanda filed a lawsuit, asking a court to prohibit the FDA from requiring unnecessary animal studies on a promising new drug to treat gastroparesis. The studies would result in the unnecessary killing of dogs with no definable scientific justification or improvement to human safety. That lawsuit is still pending.
"Just before his departure as FDA Commissioner, Scott Gottlieb said the agency should set a goal of replacing experiments on animals with modern technology," said Dr. Polymeropoulos. "I am calling on the FDA to follow the lead of the EPA, the USDA and the VA and stop this scientifically flawed practice, and set an aggressive deadline to switch to efficient and effective, non-animal testing approaches that are rooted in the best science."
About Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Vanda is a global biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies to address high unmet medical needs and improve the lives of patients. For more on Vanda, please visit www.vandapharma.com.
AJ Jones II
Chief Corporate Affairs and Communications Officer
Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Elizabeth Van Every
Burson Cohn & Wolfe (BCW)
SOURCE Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc.