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

New Study Proves Synthetic Can Replace Horseshoe Crab Blood in Biomedical Testing

On May 10 in Cape May, New Jersey, Revive & Restore 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.

In 1997, Ling Ding Jeak (pictured above) and Bow Ho (her husband and research partner) invented Recombinant Factor C (rFC), the synthetic alternative to the horseshoe crab-derived limulus amebocyte lysate (LAL) test, used to test all injectable medications for bacterial contamination.

“Revive & Restore’s focus on this issue is exactly what was needed to galvanize pharma to ‘do the right thing’ and embrace 21st century technology. We hope this will not be too late for the endangered horseshoe crabs.

– Ling Ding Jeak, co-inventor of the synthetic alternative

News & Press

The Pharmaceutical Industry Perspective:

Horseshoe Crabs Are at Risk – So Endotoxin Tests Are, Too

“The horseshoe crab’s amebocytes, or blood cells, contain a clotting agent that forms in the presence of Gram-negative bacteria. This agent, which is used to detect endotoxin in pharmaceutical and medical device products, may become scarce if horseshoe crab populations continue to decline.”

GEN: Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
October 1, 2018

Pharmaceutical Industry News:

FDA Approves First Drug Tested for Endotoxins with rFC

Eli Lilly’s migraine-prevention drug, galcanezumab, is the first drug approved by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to be used rFC as the release test for bacterial endotoxins. Thanks to the perseverance of consulting biologist Jay Bolden, Eli Lilly is in the process of transitioning 90 percent of its endotoxin tests from LAL to rFC.

September 27, 2018

The Last Days of the Blood Harvest

The Atlantic | Sarah Zhang | May 9, 2018

“Every year, more than 400,000 crabs are bled for the miraculous medical substance that flows through their bodies—now pharmaceutical companies are finally committing to an alternative that doesn’t harm animals,” writes Zhang. That synthetic alternative, Recombinant Factor C, provides a “way for modern medicine to make use of modern technology rather than the blood of an ancient animal.”