The National Animal Resource Facility for Biomedical Research (NARF) is an Indian Biomedical Research Institute under the aegis of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) Department of Health Research Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India. The Institute is proposed to have state of the art Animal facilities to be established at Genome Valley in Hyderabad as per National and International norms. This will be a unique facilitation Institute for Laboratory Animals and its research.
The institute will create a world-class infrastructural facility and a single stop solution to make available all biological resources including specialized models such as transgenic and knock out rodents required for testing of various R&D products and for basic, applied and regulatory research to bio-tech, bio-pharma and bio-medical institutions in the country. Institute also acquire aquatic species for eco-toxicology to give global standard conditions (vivarium) where biomedical treatments are administered.
The Institute has a mission to facilitate and make available the infrastructure facilities for clinical biomedical research in the area of developmental biology, reproductive biology, neurobiological and behavioral sciences, development of animal models, cardiovascular physiology, stem cell, molecular cell biology, immunology and virology especially AIDS related research accepted globally. The Institute will have collaborations with national and international organizations in the fields of Biomedical research and technology. The important mission and the goal of the institute is to identify the commonly accepted animal strains also and to develop them. The institute will be test and authorize drugs, medical devices and new molecular entities to certify on behalf of government of India prior to human clinical trials and for further submissions for approvals and treatment of human diseases.
It will provide the best contemporary practices for the care and welfare of laboratory animals and function as per national CPCSEA and INSA guidelines in accordance with the principles of 3 R`s - Reduction, Refinement and Replacement - so that the minimum possible number of animals are used to achieve the objectives of any study. It will acquire the national and international accreditation especially from AALAC organization following NRC guidelines.
The facility will create an ethically driven research environment in which animal welfare is given top-priority. All animal welfare practices will be of highest standards equal to any other country. The animals will be provided with adequate social environmental and food enrichment as per the current Indian guidelines. An internal ethical review committee process (IAEC) will be set up to scrutinize the animal research work conducted at the facility. This ethical review will focus on ensuring compliance with 3 R principles.
The institution will continuously strive to adopt alternatives and develop procedures for non-animal testing. It will use animals only when there are no suitable non-animal alternatives. Experimental procedures will also the refined to avoid unnecessary suffering; non-animal alternative methods are substituted wherever they available and acceptable for the justified scientific/regulatory purpose of the study.
National Centre for Laboratory Animal Sciences (NCLAS) is an unique organization of its kind established in India in 1957, for spreading knowledge on the Care, Breeding, Management and Experimentation using laboratory animals in biomedical research in the country. The organization completed 53 years of its existence, this year.
It started as an unit called Laboratory Animal Information Service (LAIS) at the Indian Cancer Research Centre, Bombay (now called Advanced Centre for Treatment Education and Research in Cancer) way back in 1957 with the help of UNESCO and became a unit of Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), New Delhi in 1959. This unit for the first time undertook a survey on the conditions of laboratory animal care, breeding and experimentation in the country and felt the need for educating the biomedical fraternity on the proper care, breeding and maintenance of laboratory animals. This resulted in the initiation of a regular training course in laboratory animal sciences way back in 1968, and the publication of laboratory animal bulletins, which contained information on the laboratory animals bred, maintained and used for experimentation in various research institutions in the country. This unit was later shifted to National Institute of Nutrition ( NIN ), Hyderabad in 1976, and was expanded to provide animal support to NIN’s nutritional research and also to provide animals to other institutes within the state and it was renamed then as Laboratory Animal Information Service Centre (LAISC). In 1998, during the 7th Five Year Plan additional support came from Department of Biotechnology (DBT) under the Ministry of Science and Technology, Government of India, which helped the unit to reach the current status as the National Center for Laboratory Animal Sciences - NCLAS.
The NCLAS is currently meeting the breeding and experimental needs of over 180 biomedical Institutions in the country. The center consists of four wings: the experimental animal facility, the feed preparation facility, the breeding facility and the primate center. The experimental facility as the name suggests is meant for conducting animal experiments and the feed preparation and breeding facilities take care of breeding and supply of animals and animal feeds. The Primate facility that can maintain 36 rhesus monkeys, was added to the centre 8 years back for basic research and preclinical testing of drugs and vaccine using primates. The center has a staff strength of 60, including 4 scientific staff, 12 technical and administrative staff. Apart from breeding and supply of animals, the Centre regularly undertakes supply of laboratory animal feed (both maintenance and experimental) and check the health and genetic integrity of laboratory animals under its care. It also runs regular training courses annually both at the junior (6 weeks duration) and senior level (3 months duration) for laboratory animal personnel working in government and private biomedical institutions. Apart from this, need based ad-hoc training courses of shorter duration are also offered.
Aims & Objectives
- Meet the research needs of the country by breeding and supplying genetically and microbiologically defined laboratory animals.
- Disseminate information on laboratory animal science and technology through human resource development by conducting training programmes, workshops and seminars and through publications.
- Conduct basic research on care, breeding and management of laboratory animals and to develop animal models for biomedical research from existing as well as from the wild genetic pool.
- Act as a national reference center on Laboratory Animal Sciences and act as a liaison between India and other International agencies (WHO, ICLAS .AAALAC)