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A new Chairman of the Administrative Board (December 2013)
On 2 December 2013 the Administrative Board elected Joachim Eder, Member of the Council of States, as Chairman to the Administrative Board. He replaces Christine Egerszegi, Member of the Council of States, who resigned from the Administrative Board.
Administrative Board

A new face on the Administrative Board (December 2013)
On 2 December 2013 the Administrative Board elected Dr. med. vet. Kaspar Jörger, Head of the Division Animal Protection of the (new) Federal Office for Food Safety and Veterinary Affairs to the Administrative Board. He replaces Prof. Hans Wyss, Director of the Federal Veterinary Office, who resigned from the Administrative Board.
Administrative Board

Generic in-vitro evaluation assay for immunological correlates of protection in foot-and-mouth disease, to replace animal-challenge infections (November 2013)
3R-Info-Bulletin 51
Foot-and-mouth disease is an affection of viral origin, which attacks cattle and swine. The consequences of infection are disastrous for individual animals. But also epidemiologically, an outbreak of the disease can spread like wildfire and is extremely difficult to eradicate. Hence, an effective vaccination of livestock is of paramount importance in controlling and combating outbreaks of the disease. The screening of potential vaccines is usually conducted in living animals and is a highly stressful experience for them. The aim of this project was to develop an in-vitro assay for the monitoring of vaccine potencies. Prof. Artur Summerfield’s research team at the Institute of Virology and Immunprophylaxis, Mittelhäusern, Switzerland have been successful in establishing a novel in-vitro system to measure the efficacies of vaccines against foot-and-mouth disease, thereby obviating the need for conventional serological testing in animals.
3R-Info Bulletin 51 | Project 113-08

New project (October 2013)
Optimization of the nerve-cell-mimicking liposome assay as an in-vitro alternative for the detection of Clostridium-botulinum neurotoxins and for a validation of their presence in complex sample materials
Marc-André Avondet and Prof. Stephen Leib, Toxinology Group, Spiez Laboratory, FOCP, Switzerland
Neurotoxins that are derived from the bacterium Clostridium botulinum are used medicinally to treat diverse disorders, such as dystonia, hyperhidrosis, strabism, chronic pain and headaches. More recently, a lucrative market for these toxins has been captured in the field of cosmetic surgery, in which they are applied as anti-wrinkle agents. For the quality control of new toxin batches, more than half a million mice per year are utilized in Europe and the USA alone. With the ultimate goal of entirely replacing such mouse-based assays, the investigators working on this project will further develop a new methodological approach that has been conceived using nerve-cell-mimicking liposomes.
Project 138-13

New project (October 2013)
Validation of a new human in-vitro model of microglia
Prof. Luis Filgueira, Department of Medicine, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
The local resident defence cells of the brain are microglia. They are implicated in inflammatory responses of the brain and in protecting it against infection, as well as in the regenerative processes that follow injury or pathological degeneration (such as that associated with Alzheimer’s disease). With a view to elaborating novel therapeutic approaches to the treatment of brain diseases, the roles played by microglia in their development must be understood. To forward this goal, various animal models have been established. And, regrettably, even in-vitro studies cannot be conducted without the loss of animal life, since the necessary microglia can be obtained only from excised brains. The investigators who are working on this project have discovered that cells (monocytes) originating from human peripheral blood can be transformed into microglia. This finding opens up the possibility of establishing a human in-vitro model of microglia and thus of obviating the need for the sacrifice of animal life. In this project, the human in-vitro model of microglia will be validated.
Project 137-13

New project (October 2013)
Development of an in-vitro potency assay for the Clostridium-chauvoei vaccines: Replacement of the guinea-pig-challenge potency test
Prof. Joachim Frey, Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology, Vetsuisse Faculty, University of Berne, Switzerland
Blackleg is a bacterial disease that affects cattle and sheep. It leads to extensive tissue necrosis, particularly in the muscles of the limbs. For the development of novel and/or improved vaccines to protect animals at risk, the efficacy of potential preparations are tested in vivo. The process of screening is usually conducted on guinea pigs and is a highly stressful one for the animals involved. The aim of this project is to develop a safe in-vitro screening system for routine laboratory use that would render the ubiquitous guinea-pig-challenge potency test obsolete.
Project 136-13

New project (October 2013)
In vitro engineering of a human cell-based three-dimensional dynamic model of atherosclerosis
Dr. Benedikt Weber, Swiss Center for Regenerative Medicine, University Hospital Zürich, Switzerland
Cardiovascular diseases are a leading cause of death in the Western world. In most cases, the underlying lethal pathology is atherosclerosis, which targets the walls of the blood vessels. In addition to a genetic predisposition, the disease is often associated with obesity, excessive stress and nicotine addiction. To promote the development of novel therapeutic drugs for the treatment of atherosclerosis, it is necessary to understand the factors that contribute to its onset and progression, for which purpose various animal models are employed. In this project, the aim is to elaborate a clinically relevant in vitro model of atherosclerosis using human cells that are derived from surgical waste material.
Project 135-13

A new face on the Administrative Board (October 2013)
On 31 October 2013 the Administrative Board elected Dr. med. vet. Philippe Bugnon, who works for the Institute of Laboratory Animal Science, University of Zurich, to the Administrative Board. He replaces Silvia Matile-Steiner, who resigned from the Administrative Board.
Administrative Board

Publication of Annual Report for 2012 (June 2013)
On 7 May 2013 the Administrative Board approved the Foundation’s Annual Report for 2012, which describes its activities during last year, as well as the financial statements for 2012. A total amount of Fr. 619,000 was paid out for research projects. Four new projects were approved and the final reports on four projects were received.
Annual Report for 2012 | PDF version
Information for applicants and project managers


Principal areas for financial support

Instructions Concerning Project Outlines

Instructions concerning the detailed description of project

Form for Project Outlines (Word)

Application Form (Word)

Form for yearly reports (Word)

Guidelines for Awarding Research Grants


Additional 3R news

European Consensus Platform for 3R Alternatives to Animal Experimentation

UK National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research

The global clearinghouse for information on alternatives to animal testing

Non-animal Methods for Toxicity Testing

The European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing