ZURICH (Reuters) – Horseshoe crabs’ icy-blue blood is set to remain the drug industry’s standard for safety tests after a powerful U.S. group ditched a plan to put on an equal footing a synthetic substitute pushed by Swiss biotech Lonza and animal welfare groups.
FILE PHOTO: An Atlantic horseshoe crab moves across the sand on Pickering beach, a national horseshoe crab sanctuary in Little Creek, Delaware, May 20, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo
The crabs’ copper-rich blood clots in the presence of bacterial endotoxins and has long been used in tests to detect contamination in shots and infusions.
More recently, man-made versions called recombinant Factor C (rFC) from Basel-based Lonza and others have emerged.
An industry battle has been brewing, as another testing giant, Lonza’s U.S.-based rival Charles River Laboratories,, has criticized the synthetic option on safety grounds.
Maryland-based U.S. Pharmacopeia (USP), whose influential publications guide the drug…
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