Primate Research: By the Numbers

335 Million

The number of Americans who will use life-saving drugs in their lifetime

0.5%

Primate usage as a percentage of all animal models used in research

568

New Drugs approved over the last 10 years where primates played a critical role in their development

Top 20 Drugs Developed via Primate Research

Critical Role Primates Play in Research


Discovering New
Life-Saving Therapies

Many breakthroughs in medical research have been made possible thanks to the use of primate models. Our goal is to provide researchers with healthy primates, living in clean and humane conditions, to facilitate scientific advancements. We understand the importance of animal welfare, which is why we prioritize our primates’ well-being by providing them with exercise areas, a balanced diet, and a stress-free environment. We work closely with researchers to ensure that their work is not just effective but also ethical.


Protecting Your Safety

As a leading provider of primate models for preclinical testing, we understand the importance of proving drug safety before moving on to human trials. Primate models have proven to be superior due to their genetic similarities to humans, which allows for more accurate predictions of human reactions to certain drugs.


Advancing Research Required by Regulation

As a Regulatory Requirement in developing most new drugs, the FDA mandates the primate model for many new candidates to ensure the safety of new therapies. By testing on primates, scientists can obtain accurate and reliable data that is impossible to acquire through other methods. This research guarantees that new treatments will not harm humans.

Frequently Asked Questions

After reviewing 13 sites in 6 different states, we wanted to highlight the attractive features that impacted our decision to select Bainbridge and Decatur County as the future home for Safer Human Medicine. Some key elements include:

Community

● Vibrant and growing community with an attractive downtown and commitment to investing for the future
● Affordable housing, strong school systems, and a wide choice of recreational activities
● Strong workforce within a 60-minute radius that is supportive of animals and their important role in everyday life
● Desire for high paying jobs to retain workforce within the county
● During our diligence, we met with many people from the community who were pleasant and inviting, giving us a positive feel for the community

Education

● Technical college training and internship programs in veterinary and animal husbandry
● Partnerships with high school and business to incorporate skills needed for future employment
● Employee training assistance willing to custom design programs to support business needs
● 3 veterinary schools within a 4-hour drive

Infastructure

● Committed investment in roadways, municipal systems, and availability of all necessary utilities

Location

● Proximity to airports and major interstates and highways for ease of access
● Warm climate which closely resembles a primate’s natural environment
● Low risk zone for severe weather events

Business Partnership

● An Economic Development Council extremely innovative in targeting industries that are trying to address U.S. supply chain needs
● Local business support/partnership (hotels, restaurants, produce, animal feed/bedding, equipment)
● Vast number of construction contractors in the area

All animals brought to our site will be from farms that have bred them in captivity. The risk of these animals carrying any disease is extremely low given the continuous screening practices outlined in the following:

  • These animals are tested for known viruses that can be found in the primate species starting shortly after birth. They are then tested again at weaning. We routinely audit international suppliers for adherence to testing programs and welfare and known health quality.
  • A minimum of 30 days prior to shipment to SHM, the primates will go through a full quarantine where they are tested again. The 30 days is also defined by CDC as sufficient based on incubation periods required to demonstrate symptoms.
  • Once the animals arrive at our site, they go through a defined CDC quarantine period of at least another 30 days which is monitored by the CDC. We also do numerous additional tests that exceed what is required by the CDC.
  • We will continue to perform regular testing to ensure the full health of our animals while on site.
  • If an animal dies while in our facilities, there is routine veterinarian reviews (necropsy) to determine cause of death and the animals are managed according to biosecurity procedures until it is removed from our site by a certified third party who follows defined biosecurity procedures for medical waste incineration.

It is critical that the animals on our site are virus and pathogen free to ensure they produce quality study outcomes.  We take great strides in our facility design to ensure animals are protected from exposure to any source of diseases. In the photos below, you will see 1) our facility perimeter will be fenced to prevent any of the native wildlife from accessing our operations, and 2) the exterior of our buildings will be shielded with high tensile screens that prevent access from rodents, insects, and birds.

The NHPs we import are all from purpose-bred colonies and are not animals being taken from the wild. These purpose-bred animals are routinely screened after birth, during grow-out, and prior to importation to the U.S. Once in the U.S., they are further screened multiple times as part of a highly regulated CDC Quarantine process. Our veterinary and animal care staff will closely monitor the health of the NHPs under our care after quarantine release. Because of these stringent requirements, the risk of spreading disease is extremely low. 

In the unlikely event that an animal tests positive for a disease, it would be humanely euthanized and removed from our site by a certified third party who follows defined biosecurity procedures for medical waste incineration.

The NHPs at SHM’s facilities will be housed in large animal enclosures inside our secure buildings. These enclosures are not only designed to make the NHPs under our care feel safe and comfortable, but also to prevent escape. Our facilities are built to give NHP’s access to the outside air and sunlight they enjoy. Our facility has several safeguards to prevent escape, including a unique building design that incorporates double barriers throughout each building. In the unlikely event an animal gets out of its enclosure, our building design will not permit two doors leading to the exterior to be opened simultaneously, preventing an animal from getting out of the building.

Animal Welfare, including preventing escape, is a top priority and has heavily influenced our facility’s design. As a result, we have engineered into our buildings multiple redundancies. The following outlines how our animals will remain in safe surroundings in the event any one specific design feature is compromised.

  • Our buildings are engineer rated to withstand a direct Category 4 Hurricane. We will keep trees around the site perimeter, but we will not have tall trees near the animal buildings or fencing.
  • Our buildings are designed to allow air to pass through which helps equalize the pressure within the building. This will greatly reduce the risk of a roof being lifted off in a storm event.
  • In the unlikely event that a roof is compromised, or a projectile penetrates the outer screen, the pens that the NHPs are housed in are constructed of sturdy stainless steel anchored into cinderblock walls. This means the pens are a secondary enclosure within the buildings.
  • All exits have double barrier door systems with mechanisms that prevent two doors from being open at the same time, which significantly reduces the risk of escape.
  • We will have a proven perimeter fencing design that includes non-harmful electrification. This will serve as an additional safeguard against escape and will also deter wildlife from entering our property

There are several facilities comparable to ours, including in Georgia, located within a few hundred yards of neighborhoods and schools. This provides strong evidence that noise and smell are not a nuisance to local residents.

The noise level of our operation will be significantly less than a manufacturing operation you would typically see in an industrial park. This is a day-shift operation that will mirror other agricultural facilities in the area. On average, starting time will be around 6:30-7:00 am and the day typically ends by 3:30pm.

These NHPs are not large. On average, they are approximately 6-7 pounds (roughly the size of a house cat). Cynomolgus macaques make little to no noise and most sound is contained within the building.

Given their smaller size and our regular husbandry practices, we have confidence that there will be no noticeable smell coming from our site.

Nothing discharged from our facility will create an environmental hazard or risk. Most of our wastewater comes from regularly washing down our animal enclosures so that we can lay dry bedding and give our NHPs a clean space to forage, eat and play. We will work closely with the City of Bainbridge to make certain that, much like other farms, our natural animal waste is properly treated and disposed of so that it presents no environmental risk to our neighbors.

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