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Annual report 1999

1. Structure of the Foundation

The Foundation is a cooperative institution set up by the Parliamentary Group for Animal Experimentation Questions (public organ), Interpharma (Novartis Pharma Ltd, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd) and the Foundation for Animal-Free Research (animal protection). It was entered in the commercial register on 18th August, 1987.

The funds provided to subsidise research stem from the Federal Veterinary Office and Interpharma.

2. Purpose of the Foundation

The purpose of the 3R Research Foundation Switzerland is to promote alternative research methods which avoid the use of animals through grants for research projects. The organisation supports first and foremost projects aimed at developing new methods or refining accepted methods (validation) which offer practical improvements vis-à-vis standard animal experimentation in line with the 3R motto Reduce, Refine, Replace.

A broad range of projects is sponsored on the condition that they are likely to reduce the number of animals used or the stress and/or pain suffered. Projects considered must be based on the Foundation's three principles and are mainly in the bio-medical multidisciplinary field.

3. Activities during 1999

1999 was the organisation's thirteenth year of operation. The Administrative Board met twice, in April and December, for a half-day meeting. Apart from the statutory business concerning the end of the business year 1998, the Board addressed the following issues.

Research funds for 1999 were allotted to 11 projects already underway. In addition, 5 new projects were approved, while 6 applications were rejected. The Board also took note of the final evaluation by the Evaluation Committee of 4 projects which had been completed. In April the guidelines concerning the definition of the research areas sponsored were modified, and in December those relating to funding for projects abroad and the Foundation's new presence in English-speaking countries were changed. Furthermore, the Board approved the participation of the Foundation in the 3rd World Congress on Alternatives and Animal Use in the Life Sciences, held in Bologna from 29th August to 2nd September, 1999, and the sponsorship of 5 project leaders to participate in order to present their research work. Finally, the Administrative Board was pleased to note the successful completion of two projects: an interactive teaching aid in the form of a CD-ROM entitled 'Animal Experimentation - Reduce, Refine, Replace' and an informative brochure entitled 'Alternative Methods to Animal Experimentation' aimed in particular at high schools and the general public.

With the support of the scientific advisor, the Evaluation Committee held two meetings during the year and dealt mainly with the following topics: assessing new applications, evaluating completed projects, presenting the Foundation in Bologna and publishing the 3R Information Bulletin.

During the year 6 projects were completed: 43/95, 50/96, 53/96, 55/96, 59/97 and 62/97. Together with those projects completed earlier (1-5/87, 6-15/88, 16/89, 17-20/90, 21-24/91, 25-42/92, 44/95, 45/96, 48/96 49/96, 51/96 and 57/97) this brings the total of finished projects to 54 out of 70.

4. Personnel

In April 1999 the Administrative Board elected officers (Board, Evaluation Committee, Appeal Board, auditors, secretary) for the period 1999-2002. At the same time the Board accepted the resignation of Christine Beerli (Vice-President) and Prof. Andreas Steiger from the Board and thanked them both warmly for their services. Christine Egerszegi-Obrist was elected to replace Mrs. Beerli and Dr. Raymond Miserez was appointed to represent the Federal Veterinary Office on the Board and the Evaluation Committee.

In December the Board accepted the resignation of Hans Meier from amongst its ranks, and that of Prof. Beda M. Stadler and Dr. Isabelle Allmann-Iselin from the Evaluation Committee.

5. 3R-Info-Bulletin

So far the following 3R Information Bulletins have been published in English::

1June 1994Foundation Research 3R
2Sept. 1994mAbs without mice?
3Dec. 1994Gerhard Zbinden and 3R
4April 1995Predicting human drug metabolism
5August 1995Human recombinant antibodies
6Sept. 1995Call for 3R-Research Proposals
7March 1996The three 'R's of Russel & Burch, 1959
8August 1996Regulation of digestion in cell culture
9October 1996Permanent fish cell cultures as novel tools in environmental toxicology
10August 1997Ten years 3R Research Foundation
11March 1999Immunization of laboratory animals
12Sept. 1999Leishmaniasis: Development of an in vitro assay for drug screening
13January 2000Identification of neurotoxic chemicals in cell cultures

6. Financial business

During 1999 around Sfr. 693,000 was used for research grants, other funding and projects. An additional Sfr. 84,000 was spent on project supervision and information, and Sfr. 80,000 on administrative expenses. Total expenditure was therefore around Sfr. 857,000. The amount spent on research for current projects (Sfr. 596,000) was thus approximately Sfr. 50,000 below budget. This is mainly due to deferred payments in connection with final reports, the 5% reserve not yet having been paid out. An amount of Sfr. 91,000 was spent on brochures and the 3R CD-ROM. Expenditure for project supervision, information and administration totalled Sfr. 164,000 and thus exceeded budget by roughly Sfr. 4,000.

On the income side, the equal financial commitment of the federal authorities and Interpharma constitutes the basis for the Foundation's activities. Each body donated a total of Sfr. 455,000 to 3R, and in addition Interpharma footed the bill for printing the brochure, which amounted to Sfr. 11,000.

Income totalled around Sfr. 927,000 (federal authorities and Interpharma together Sfr. 910,000, additional contribution for printing the brochure Sfr. 11,000, interest on bank account Sfr. 4,000, funds repaid Sfr. 2,000) while total expenditure amounted to Sfr. 857,000, which gives a positive balance of approximately Sfr. 70,000. The balance of unused research funds therefore rose from around Sfr. 219,000 at the end of 1998 to roughly Sfr. 290,000 at the end of 1999.

The budget for the year 2000 includes a sum of around Sfr. 550,000 for current projects and a maximum of Sfr. 450,000 for new projects.

Overview of grants awarded between 1987 and 1999

By the end of 1999 a total of Sfr. 9,883,702.70 had been granted for projects and other subsidies, of which a total of Sfr. 8,954,591.30 has been paid out so far. Together the federal authorities and Interpharma have contributed Sfr. 10,126,000 to the Foundation since 1987.

10-year overview

7. Financial statements

Profit and loss account 1999ExpenditureIncome
Federal contribution 455 000.00
Contribution from Interpharma 455 000.00
Other contributions 11 239.30
Total contributions 921 239.30
Interest on bank account 4 435.80
Extraordinary income item 318.00
Research funds repaid 1 616.17
Total income 927 609.27

Research grants596 222.82
Various 3R activities150 517.35
Other sponsorship6 000.00
Project supervision and information83 881.30
Administrative expenses79 881.35
Total expenditure857 159.62
Excess income over expenditure70 449.65 
 927 609.27 
Balance as per 31st December 1999AssetsLiabilities
Bank 367 758.48
Withholding tax 1 552.55
Balance social security 418.00
Accounting apportionment assets 1 616.17

Accounting apportionment liabilities  80 003.05
Unused research funds
  Carried forward 1. 1. 1999219 892.50
  Excess income over expend70 449.65 290 342.15
Capital of the Foundation  1 000.00
371 345.20  371 345.20

Contingent liabilities
Approved research grants not yet paid out   929 111.40

Münsingen, , 6th April 2000

President: signed Dr. Hugo Wick
Secretary: signed E. Diener

8. Auditors' report to the Administrative Board

As 3R Research Foundation's auditors we have examined the books and the annual financial statements (balance sheet and profit and loss account) for the year ending 31st December 1999.

The Administrative Board is responsible for drawing up the financial statements while our task is to check and assess them. We hereby confirm that we are duly qualified to do this and that we have no vested interest in the Foundation.

We have checked the accounts and statements according to the generally accepted principles of accounting, by which this task must be planned and carried out in such a way that important errors in the financial statements are reasonably certain to be identified. We checked the entries and information in the statements in an analytical and investigative way using random samples. Furthermore, we assessed the implementation of standard accounting principles, the main evaluations and the presentation of the accounts as a whole. We are of the opinion that our examination provides a solid basis for our assessment of the accounts and statements of 3R.

In our opinion, the accounts have been kept and the financial statements have been drawn up according to the relevant laws and the statutes and regulations of the Foundation.

We therefore recommend that they be approved.

Gümligen, 24th March 2000
KPMG Fides Peat
signed Markus Gasser, Cert. Auditor
signed p.p. Ursula Waber