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CRACK IT Challenge Launch Event 2015 is a Success

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On the 10th of September, this year’s NC3Rs CRACK IT Challenges launch event took place. The Challenges look set to be fantastic, and we were honoured to be discussed as a success story in the introductory speeches by Dr Kathryn Chapman, Head of Innovation and Translation at the National Centre for the 3Rs (NC3Rs).

This year’s competition is funded by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and the NC3Rs. It is also supported by Innovate UK. The sponsors for this year’s competition are GlaxoSmithKline, Dstl, Unilever, Novartis, and Stiefel. This year’s Challenges are Metaboderm, “the development of a new tool to predict metabolism in human skin”, and InMutaGene. InMutaGene is the “development of a technology to address the risks of insertional mutagenesis/oncogenesis and to improve the efficiency of translational research in gene therapy.” Both of these Challenges are set to inspire tremendous innovation.

One of the ways in which the NC3Rs approaches the replacement, reduction, and refinement of the use of animals in scientific research is through a series of CRACK IT Challenges. These identify vital industry-wide problems and present them to the academic and SME sectors to solve. Through in-kind contribution from industry experts and the NC3Rs, Challenge participants create marketable, successful technologies and approaches with substantial 3Rs benefits. We were delighted to be the featured case study for successful CRACK IT Challenge winners in Dr Chapman’s introductory speech at the launch.

In 2011, Actual Analytics were the proud winners of the Rodent Big Brother CRACK IT Challenge. In 2012 we also won the Rodent Little Brother Challenge, focusing on the loss and irreproducibility of data that causes incredibly expensive study closures late in the drug discovery pipeline.

Since then, Actual Analytics have worked with leading industry experts to create ActualHCA, a system that automatically monitors and analyses the behaviour, activity, and temperature of group-housed rodents within their true home cage while retaining their individual identities. This process is minimally invasive and dramatically reduces the number of rodents required for research. The University of Strathclyde identified that ActualHCA delivers 90% more data with 50% fewer rodents than traditional methods.

We applaud the consistent efforts of the NC3Rs CRACK IT Challenges to identify global issues and support the solutions, and look forward to the upcoming news on the Challenges presented at this conference.

For more information on CRACK IT, visit their website here. For more details on ActualHCA, visit our product page or get in touch today.