Jo is helping local medical researchers to campaign to increase availability of human tissue for testing new medical treatments.
Biopta Ltd is a specialist research service based in Bearsden which carries out research on human tissue for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. By using human tissue samples to test new drugs, researchers can test their safety long before they are tested on living people, thereby reducing the risk of adverse affects. This also helps to avoid wasting time and money on unsuccessful drug trials.
Jo paid a visit Biopta recently to discuss plans to lobby the government to increase the availability of human tissue for research. Tissue removed during surgery can be stored in hospitals with the patient’s consent, to be used for research purposes. However, as there is no established system for sharing these tissue samples, most end up being incinerated. Jo hopes to persuade the government to help create a system to facilitate easier access by researchers to the tissue they need to research treatments for all kinds of diseases.
Commenting, Jo said:
“We all know someone who has suffered from an ailment for which there is not yet adequate treatment available, and it goes without saying that the sooner new and better treatments are developed the better. The lack of readily available human tissue for carrying out this research is seriously slowing down progress. The technology and the expertise needed to set up a better system for coordinating the use of tissue samples already exist, but the governments in Westminster and Holyrood must lead the way to make it happen.”