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Lonza will continue to sponsor the conservation of horseshoe crabs, which are used in endotoxin testing.
Lonza announced on June 14, 2016 that the company plans to continue to sponsor through 2016 horseshoe crab conservation initiatives by the Ecological Research & Development Group (ERDG), who’s primary focus is protection of the world’s four horseshoe crab species. Lonza will sponsor two ERDG projects in 2016 to help raise conservation awareness.
With the sponsorship money, ERDG will broaden the functionality of their recently launched Horseshoe Crab Teacher Toolbox, an online library for educators. ERDG will also initiate a project to eliminate the use of Limulus polyphemus as bait in conch and eel fishing, by implementing bait-saving gear and developing alternative baits. Limulus polyphemus, a species of horseshoe crab from which Limulus Amebocyte Lystate (LAL) is extracted for endotoxin testing.
Horseshoe crabs are used in the pharmaceutical industry for endotoxin testing, Lonza said in a press announcement. Endotoxins that are associated with the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria can elicit number of undesirable pyrogenic effects in humans and animals, including septic shock, fever, vascular collapse, and even death. According to Lonza, it is vital to screen pharmaceuticals such as vaccines, implantable medical devices, and intravenous drugs and fluids for endotoxin contamination before they are administered to patients.