WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Humane Society of the United States claims to have found thousands of cases of animal suffering and deaths from drug toxicity testing at an animal testing laboratory headquartered in West Lafayette.
In a statement sent to the Journal & Courier on Thursday evening, the company described research at Inotiv Inc. as “legally required” in the United States to develop life-saving medical options.
Inotiv Inc. was reportedly at the center of a seven-month secret investigation by the Humane Society of the United States. An undercover investigator, according to information sent to the Journal & Courier, worked at Inotiv Inc.’s facilities in Mount Vernon, Indiana, and was assigned to more than 70 toxicity studies involving approximately 6,000 animals.
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“On April 21, 2022, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) released a report claiming to have placed an infiltrator at one of Inotiv’s research facilities in Indiana,” Inotiv said in a statement attributed to a company spokesperson. “Inotiv management has read the HSUS press release and related report and is reviewing the claims contained therein.”
Inotiv, according to its website, offers pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies “decisive analytical services…”
“Our mission at Inotiv,” the Thursday statement continued, “is to help our customers realize the full potential of their scientific and medical research, which ultimately contributes to a significant improvement in the lives of humans and animals.
“The research we perform is legally required in the United States to develop lifesaving drugs, medical devices and biologics.”
In its statement to the Journal & Courier, the Humane Society of the United States called on the Food and Drug Administration and pharmaceutical companies “to replace animals with more effective non-animal testing approaches that will better serve humans while sparing animals.” “.
Beagle puppies, monkeys shown on video
Among the alleged findings, some 80 beagle puppies were used in toxicity tests where the dogs were allegedly forced to ingest a drug through a stomach tube every day for months. These beagles, according to the Humane Society, will be killed beginning in mid-May.
A video claimed by the Humane Society as part of the undercover investigation, and viewed by the J&C, shows workers inserting tubes into the dogs’ throats and administering a liquid substance. Dogs can be seen later in the video, struggling to walk, shivering in a cage and whimpering along a wall.
The monkeys, as seen in the video, were restrained from the neck down and given a substance. A couple of monkeys cuddle at the bottom of a cage.
Activists demand the release of animals
The animal rights nonprofit, along with the Humane Society Legislative Fund, have called for the beagles to be released immediately.
“The disturbing findings from this facility cannot be ignored. We demand the release of beagles that we know are suffering today in the lab and will soon be euthanized, but this is just the beginning of our work,” said Kitty Block, CEO and President of the Humane Society of the United States.
“We need to address the root cause of this suffering. It seems to be one of the only areas of science where the failure to innovate and bring about change is accepted and, at times, encouraged. We hope that sharing the fate of these animals will accelerate changes by the FDA and the pharmaceutical industry to replace outdated animal testing with superior modern technologies.
What did the investigation find?
According to the Humane Society, the secret investigation took place from August 2021 to March 2022.
Some of the alleged findings include:
- At least two primates accidentally hanged themselves in restraint chairs.
- The dogs were dosed with the substances despite their vomiting, tremors, high fevers and labored breathing.
- Seriously ill dogs and primates, some groaning in pain, were not assessed or treated.
“Our federal government needs to invest in good science in the form of effective, humane, non-animal testing methods to replace these tragic animal tests,” said Sara Amundson, president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund. “In many cases, non-animal testing is more reliable, faster, and more cost-effective than the existing animal methods most commonly accepted by our federal government.”
What does Inotiv do?
According to its website, Inotiv “offers a wide range of expertise for drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK) studies at all stages (of research and development), from lead optimization to NDA Benefit from our long and impeccable regulatory history, world-class team of scientists and more than 40 years of experience in providing leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies with attentive and decisive analytical services – and high-quality data.
Addressing its services to potential customers: “Our stage-based drug discovery bundles offer you the solutions you need to provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions.”
In January 2022, Inotiv Inc., with West Lafayette facilities worth approximately $20 million, announced the purchase of Integrated Laboratory Systems for $56 million, increasing the toxicology study of the ‘business.
“ILS will also provide additional capacity and growth opportunities for Inotiv,” Greg Beattie, CEO of Inotiv, said in a press release at the time. “This acquisition expands our in vivo and in vitro toxicology services, including the addition of significant expertise in pathology and toxicology, and extends our services to genomics, bioinformatics and computational toxicology. These capabilities expand our market reach and create significant new cross-selling opportunities. .”
Deanna Watson is editor-in-chief of the Journal & Courier. Contact her at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @deannawatson66.