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Bioscience-Medicine

Texas Biomed withdraws $11 million bond request from the city of San Antonio amid PETA complaints

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Courtesy of Texas Biomedical Research Institute.
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Texas Biomedical Research Institute, a nonprofit infectious disease research facility in San Antonio, withdrew its $11 million bond project request from the city to expand its campus infrastructure.

Texas Biomed said it was grateful the project was recommended by city staff and approved by city council to move forward in the bond process but it has decided to seek alternative funding options. It did not provide any more information.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or PETA protested the bond request earlier this week, saying that animals are harmed in the research process. PETA released a statement on Thursday, calling the bond withdrawal a win for San Antonio taxpayers and those against experimentation on animals.

In a letter to Mayor Ron Nirenberg and City Manager Erik Walsh, Texas Biomed CEO Larry Schlesinger said that PETA is “misrepresenting the work being done at its animal research laboratory.”

“This bond request has always been about supporting the growth of bioscience in our community and investing in the future of human health,” Schlesinger wrote. “We regret that there has been a vocal minority that has misinformed and misrepresented the work we do and disparaged our ethical, caring and nationally-recognized animal research program.”

The company said technologies are not advanced enough to replace the use of animals in research. Texas Biomed’s research has helped develop treatments for a number of infectious diseases, including Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Earlier this week, Texas Biomed broke ground on a new facility that will allow them to breed more nonhuman primates for medical research amid a nationwide shortage of the animals.

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