Green

Turning the Tide for Horseshoe Crabs: New Hope for an Ancient Species

a30016ad13ccd06feb0c_IMG_0264.jpg
Assemblyman Bruce Land (D-1st Dist) with First Lady Tammy Murphy and Eric Stiles, President & CEO of New Jersey Audubon at the announcement. Credits: Ethan Pierce
a30016ad13ccd06feb0c_IMG_0264.jpg

CAPE MAY, NJ – Revive & Restore, a California-based nonprofit bringing new biotech tools to conservation, today joined with First Lady Tammy Murphy, New Jersey Audubon and Eli Lilly and Company to announce new research that dispels many perceived barriers to the adoption of a safe synthetic alternative to horseshoe crab blood for biomedical testing. 

Over the past 40 years, the population of American horseshoe crabs, an ancient and ecologically important species, has declined, because of the overharvest of crabs and extensive use in biomedical testing.

“Both people and nature will win through the leadership of Eli Lilly to replace the need for harvesting horseshoe crabs for biomedical use,” Murphy said.

Sign Up for E-News

The annual convergence of the horseshoe crab and the Red Knot along the Cape May shore shows both the important role New Jersey plays in maintaining nature’s delicate balance, and the important role corporate actors can play in ensuring a sustainable and healthy horseshoe crab population,” she said. 

It is a treat to witness the red knot’s stop-off along the shores of the Delaware Bay during their remarkable 10,000-mile migration, and through the efforts of Eli Lilly, this is an annual event we can ensure continues for generations to come, the First Lady added.

Ryan Phelan, executive director of Revive & Restore, said: “When we learned there was an alternative to bleeding hundreds of thousands of horseshoe crabs annually, which was not being used, we felt compelled to find out why and to remove any barriers to adoption.”

Eric Stiles, president & CEO of New Jersey Audubon, explained the new research can be a substantial benefit to the Red Knot, an endangered shorebird that relies on horseshoe crab eggs in the Delaware Bay to refuel before they continue their journey to raise their young in the Arctic.

“Research has shown that nearly 30 percent of horseshoe crabs die because of this ongoing blood harvest,” Stiles said. “This greatly impacts the Red Knot, an endangered shorebird, who need to feast on horseshoe crabs to fuel their journey to Arctic breeding grounds. We welcome this research and appreciate the leadership support of First Lady Murphy and Eli Lilly and Company. We invite other pharmaceutical companies to join us in saving shorebirds, horseshoe crabs and advancing the interest of their shareholders.”

Revive & Restore conducted a review and synthesis of 10 separate studies that evaluated the industry’s standard method of testing for bacterial contaminants, the horseshoe crab blood-derived LAL test, against the synthetic alternative, recombinant Factor C (rFC).

The paper, “Saving the Horseshoe Crab: A synthetic alternative to horseshoe crab blood for endotoxin detection” was published today in PeerJ.Revive & Restore examined the methods and data from 10 prior efficacy studies. Consistency of results, reliability of the method, and scope of efficacy were all reviewed.

Eli Lilly and Company announced that it has updated its processes to use rFC for testing water in laboratories at two of its manufacturing sites.

“Lilly is a leader in the sustainable production of therapeutics, and we believe that rFC provides a much more sustainable testing process,” said Jay Bolden, a senior scientist with Eli Lilly. 

Details were released at New Jersey Audubon’s Cape May Center for Research and Education. Below are the highlights:

●The review confirmed that rFC is just as efficacious, safe, and reliable as the product made from the blood of horseshoe crabs.

●According to interviews with industry experts, substituting LAL with the synthetically-produced rFC for testing water and other common materials used in manufacturing could reduce the use of horseshoe crab blood by 90 percent. 

●rFC causes fewer false positives and is cost-effective. rFC is also becoming more widely available since patent protections have expired. The use of rFC for testing in the production process of injectable medications is currently allowed under the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s guidelines.

Bacterial endotoxins can cause life-threatening fever and toxic shock. Vaccines and injectable medications approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration must be tested for bacterial contamination. Since the late 1970s, the horseshoe crab has been essential to the safe manufacturing of injectable medications, including vaccines, because a unique clotting protein in its blood is extremely sensitive to bacterial contamination. 

Revive & Restore’s research confirmed that the efficacy of rFC is equivalent to LAL and, because patent protections have ended, more suppliers are expected to start manufacturing rFC. Despite being commercially available since 2003, the adoption of rFC has lagged until now. 

“Demand for the horseshoe crabs by the bait and biomedical industries over the last three decades has caused significant ecosystem-level impacts,” said David Mizrahi, Vice President of Research and Monitoring, New Jersey Audubon. “Six species of long distance migrant shorebirds synchronize their northward migration to Arctic nesting grounds so they arrive in Delaware Bay to gorge on the eggs of spawning horseshoe crabs. 

“Recent studies confirm that abundant horseshoe crab populations in Delaware Bay are critically important for the successful migration and breeding of these six species and their long-term conservation,” he added. 

“Today we have the opportunity to turn the tide,” Phelan said. “Transitioning away from the bleeding of the horseshoe crabs to a readily available synthetic alternative is a win-win situation—for the crabs, the birds, and people—by ensuring the safe and sustainable manufacturing of pharmaceuticals while sparing the crabs and the birds that depend on them.”

 

 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - May 23, 2018




The Jaffe Briefing will not publish from Thursday through Monday. A great Memorial Day to all!


OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

SEASIDE HEIGHTS - Sex can be an almost-religious experience, but it seems a bit excessive to copulate under a statue of the Virgin Mary in a Catholic church's outdoor prayer garden. Yet, that's where ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 22, 2018




The Jaffe Briefing will not publish from Thursday through Monday. A great Memorial Day to all!


MANVILLE - If marijuana becomes legal in New Jersey, here's another town where you won't be able to buy it: Manville. The mayor and council unanimously voted to prohibit any sale of weed - recreational and medicinal - within Manville's borders. The ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 21, 2018




The Jaffe Briefing will not publish from Thursday through Monday. A great Memorial Day to all!


STATEWIDE - Should public school students be allowed to attend schools in other towns? That's the big, controversial question in a lawsuit filed against the state that looks to end what some consider to be the worst school segregation in the nation. The ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 18, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

IN COURT - Sounds like a cheesy thing to do, but the NJ Turnpike Authority has gone to court for years trying to stop a pizzeria chain whose logo is suspiciously similar to our beloved Garden State Parkway sign. Sure, nobody wants drivers searching for an on-ramp to end ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 17, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

MOUNTAINSIDE - Oh, where to begin describing this 46-page lawsuit against two Mountainside cops? A detective sergeant placing his testicles on co-workers' food. And throwing poop-smeared toilet tissue at them. And defecating in someone's boots. And taunting with a dildo dubbed "Big Blue" he liked to wave in cops' faces, as he chased ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 16, 2018

OUR TAKE ON THE NEWS IN NEW JERSEY

ATLANTIC CITY - Happy days are here again, as the state's once gasping gaming resort is expecting sports betting will rake in $150 million to $175 million a year in new, glorious profits - courtesy of your pals on the U.S. Supreme Court. Moreover, ecstatic Stockton University officials believe, this recharged gambling mecca will bring in a whole new ...

Rutgers Athletics Signs Dyehard Fan Supply to New Multi-Year Agreement

May 21, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ -  Rutgers Athletics has selected Dyehard Fan Supply, an event and retail merchandise marketing and e-commerce company, as the official merchandising partner for the Scarlet Knights in a new multi-year agreement.Dyehard will handle game day and event merchandising for Rutgers Athletics.

“We’re excited to expand gameday merchandising options and elevate ...

Newark man given 22-year sentence for kidnapping, sexual asault of Rutgers student

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A Newark man was sentenced Friday to 22 years in prison for the 2016 kidnapping and sexual assault of a Rutgers University student on the school campus in New Brunswick.

Michael Knight, 40, of Newark must serve at least 85 percent of his sentence before he is eligible for parole, Middlesex County Prosecutor Andrew Carey said in a statement today.

Superior Court Judge ...

Rutgers center battles noise pollution nationwide

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ  - Eric Zwerling got a call this week from a man was living next to a fitness center, complaining he repeatedly heard the loud thud heavy free weights and medicine balls hit the floor.

The man was recovering from having a pace maker in his chest and wondering of the impact of the noise from the gym.

“I’ve received thousands of calls,” said Zwerling, ...

Police Investigate Rabbit "Tale"

May 11, 2018

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Local cops are investigating an incident of ‘theft by deception’ involving the Plainfield Animal Hospital. 

According to the incident report filed by Officer Justin Melanson and obtained by TAPinto, residents of South Plainfield took their pet rabbit to the Park Avenue animal hospital on April 4 to be euthanized due to advanced ...

OPINION

Here's How to Help Protect Young Athletes from Injury: Let Them Play Multiple Sports

May 1, 2018

Dear TAPInto New Brunswick:

One of the responsibilities that parents take most seriously is protecting their children from injury, whether it is buckling seat belts in a car or wearing a helmet while riding a bike. And when their kids become teenagers and want to participate in sports or other activities, parents do everything they can to keep their sons and daughters from getting ...

Department of Human Services Awards Teens for Creativity in Celebrating Their Family Tree

May 24, 2018

(TRENTON) - The New Jersey Department of Human Services on Wednesday honored 12 New Jersey high school and middle school students for their winning entries in the 2018 New Jersey Teen Media Contest, which celebrated the students’ artistic and written word portrayal of how their family tree may look.

The contest hosted by the department’s Division of Family Development focused on ...