The Dutch National Growth Fund will invest 124.5 million euros in a new Centre for Animal-Free Biomedical Translation (CPBT) to accelerate the transition to animal-free research over the next decade. The aim of the centre is to generate safer, more effective treatments, while reducing animal suffering. RIVM, in collaboration with Utrecht University, UMC Utrecht and Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, is one of the initiators of the centre and involved in strengthening the acceptance and use of animal-free biomedical innovations.


The Centre for Animal-Free Biomedical Translation (CPBT) will use this funding from the National Growth Funds (NGF) to accelerate the transition to animal-free biomedical innovations. This will offer economic and social benefits with improved medicines and less animal testing.

After an initial application by the CPBT in the third round of the National Growth Fund led to a reservation of 124.5 million euros, an adapted proposal was submitted in January 2024. This proposal has now been positively assessed and the funds awarded.

Safe and affordable medicines

The formation of the CPBT comes as great progress is being made in the development of non-animal testing methods and their accreditation and qualification. Academia, industry, regulators, patient organisations, government and NGOs are increasingly working together to obtain more accurate and cost-effective medicines.
Despite these positive moves towards more cross-sector collaboration, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the results obtained from animal experiments can be limited and ineffective. In most biomedical development pathways, it is only during in-human studies that it becomes apparent that the animal experiments conducted were unable to predict therapeutic effects in humans.  

New centre for revolutionary change

Together with a large number of national and international partners, the CPBT will establish a centre for the development and dissemination of animal-free biomedical innovations and expertise. Initially, the centre will focus on ALS, cystic fibrosis, osteoarthritis/rheumatoid arthritis and asthma/COPD. The CPBT will implement the developed methods, tools and expertise together with researchers and companies. The new centre will also offer education, training, advice, and support to enhance the acceptance and use of animal-free biomedical innovations. Combined, the CPBT will run an integrated program that accelerates the transition to animal-free testing and strengthens the earning capacity of the Netherlands.

Anne Kienhuis, senior scientist RIVM Centre for Health Protection, one of the initiators of the CPBT,commented: "The strength of the CPBT lies in the interdisciplinary collaboration between science, government, corporate and civil society organisations to develop and ensure that animal-free innovations are accepted and applied. RIVM contributes significantly to this".

About the Centre for Animal-Free Biomedical Translation 
The Centre for Animal-Free Biomedical Translation (CPBT) is an initiative of Utrecht University, University Medical Center Utrecht, HU University of Applied Sciences Utrecht, and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM). The initiative has a large number of public and private partners. The growth fund proposal was submitted by the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality.