The American Anti-Vivisection Society (AAVS) petitioned the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in early 1997 to prohibit the use of an animal in the production of mAb (monoclonal antibodies). NIH responded late in 1997, asserting that continued use of the mouse method for producing mAb was scientifically required. In a second petition, in early 1998, AAVS did not accept the NIH response. NIH asked the National Research Council to form a committee to study this issue. The Committee on Methods of Producing Monoclonal Antibodies was composed of 11 experts with extensive experience in biomedical research, laboratory animal medicine, pain research, animal welfare, and patient advocacy. The committee was asked to determine whether there is a scientific necessity for producing mAb by the mouse method and, if so, to recommend ways to minimize any pain or distress that might be associated with the method. The committee was also to determine whether there are regulatory requirements for the mouse method and to summarize the current stage of development of tissue-culture methods.
Copyright © 1999, National Academy of Sciences.