Tor 20 jun / År 42 / Nr 3 2024

Research in Pigs Saves Human Lives

The pre-clinical research offered by Timeline Bioresearch covers all major laboratory species and follows the highest ethical standards.

The contract research organisation Timeline Bioresearch focuses on pre-clinical in vivo research that covers research pharmacology and drug characterisation. They conduct studies in all major laboratory species. However, the design of their large animal facilities allows them to focus on studies in pigs and they would like to become the preferred partner of the biomedical industry for pre-clinical research using pig models; both large domestic pigs and mini-pigs.

Since the skin of pigs is similar to human skin they are good models for studies of topical applications, be they subcutaneous or transcutaneous.

”We have very good experience from long-term studies of subcutaneous sustained release depot formulations, as well as transcutaneous delivery from casts and plasters. We also test devices for automatic injection. We of course also do other kinds of studies where we treat the animals orally and intravenously in traditional ways, either for explorative purposes or as part of bio-equivalence studies of generic drugs,” explains Klaus Kristensen, CEO of Timeline Bioresearch AB.

Operation Theatres to Clinical Standards
The company is currently equipping its two state-of-the-art operation theatres to clinical standards. Operations on domestic pigs, mini-pigs and sheep are possible and clinicians have the opportunity of renting the operation theatres on a daily or weekly basis.

”We have a unique possibility for this, with very skilled surgeons in a private setting. The animals will be acclimatised pre-operationally and will receive 24/7 intensive care post-operationally. So far, we’ve been working with models for gastrointestinal surgery and models where you take the blood out of the animal, as in dialysis etc. We also have a model for direct dosing into the intestine of the animal, so that the drug doesn’t have to go through the stomach. In the experimental surgery in pigs, medical devices and surgical set-ups can be tested,” tells Klaus Kristensen.

Animal Welfare – Highly Prioritised
”Why is it necessary to do all this to animals one may ask. It is to save humans lives and improve the situation for humans that are affected by a disease or disorder. Our specialty is pharmacokinetics (PK). And I would say it’s the main argument for our business since 40% of all new drugs fail due to bad PK. They either behave badly in the body or have a too short half-life or other flaws. That’s why PK investigations are so important.”

At Timeline Bioresearch, laboratory animal welfare is an ethical responsibility that covers all aspects of animal well-being. Special and respectful attention is given to each individual animal including proper housing and diet, clinical and behavioural management, disease management and treatment, responsible care and humane handling. Swedish authorities have approved their in vivo facilities and some of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies have successfully audited the same.

”We know that good animal care leads to good science. Living up to the highest standards of animal welfare gives us the best possibility to conduct high-quality in-vivo studies and in this way we are dedicated to science in the most responsible way,” states Klaus Kristensen.