Insect larvae to replace mammals in lab

Together we can develop insect larvae that can be used instead of rabbits, mice and other mammals for laboratory experiments.

Unfortunately, this project was not successful

Together we can develop alternatives to lab animals.

It can take up to twenty years to bring life saving drugs to market and much of this time is spent testing for activity and safety. This testing is usually carried out in  mammalian animals such as mice and rabbits. However, the use of mammals is expensive, time consuming and raises ethical concerns. At BioSystems Technology we are developing alternative systems that can be used to reduce and replace the use of mammals for research. 

We have developed an insect larvae called TruLarv that can be used to replace mammals for research such as the discovery of new antibiotics. In projects where insect larvae have been adopted the use of mammals has been reduced by up to 80%.

We have a strong track record 

BioSystems Technology (BST), a University of Exeter Spin out Company, was co founded in 2015 by Dr Olivia Champion who has been working on alternative disease models since 2008. We have won some grant funding from the National Centre for Replacement, Reduction and Refinement of Animals in Research (NC3Rs) to work with industry. Our successful grants, that are being used to support work with an antibiotic discovery company and a contract research organisation, have been picked up by the international press and Reuters TV:

Why do we need the money raised with your support?

Our crowdfunding campaign is specifically to raise money so we can further develop our TruLarv insect larvae by carrying out research into their genetics. This will allow scientists to use them for different types of research where there is still heavy reliance on mammals. 

Our aim is to make TruLarv insect larvae more relevant for researchers who currently work with mammals and to do this we need a greater understanding of the genetics of TruLarv. We have applied for grant funding for this research but we weren't successful (you can't win them all!).

How can you find out about the impact of your donation?

Follow us on our Twitter account @_BioSystems, Facebook page or go to our web site where we will post regular updates about how we're using the funding raised. We'll also share case studies that highlight the reduction in use of lab  mammals where TruLarv have been adopted, as well as the public health impact of research that has used TruLarv.

 THANK YOU for your donation. We really appreciate it.