ο The committee was evenly split and unable to reach consensus on the necessity of the chimpanzee for the development of a prophylactic hepatitis C virus (HCV) vaccine. Specifically, the committee could not reach agreement on whether a preclinical challenge study using the chimpanzee model was necessary and if or how much the chimpanzee model would accelerate or improve prophylactic HCV vaccine development.
• The present trajectory indicates a decreasing scientific need for chimpanzee studies due to the emergence of non-chimpanzee models and technologies.
• Development of non-chimpanzee models requires continued support by the NIH.
• A new, emerging, or reemerging disease or disorder may present challenges to treatment, prevention, and/or control that defy nonchimpanzee models and available technologies and therefore may require the future use of the chimpanzee.
• Comparative genomics research may be necessary for understanding human development, disease mechanisms, and susceptibility because of the genetic proximity of the chimpanzee to humans. It poses no risk to the chimpanzee when biological materials are derived from existing samples or minimal risk of pain and distress in instances where samples are collected from living animals.
• Chimpanzees may be necessary for obtaining otherwise unattainable insights to support understanding of social and behavioral factors that include the development, prevention, or treatment of disease.
• Application of the committee’s criteria would provide a framework to assess scientific necessity to guide the future use of chimpanzees in biomedical, comparative genomics, and behavioral research.