Thirty-five years ago, a female chimpanzee—identified only as “4X0139″—was intentionally infected with the hepatitis B virus by experimenters. She was then infected with HIV, hepatitis C, and other illnesses and has been imprisoned in a laboratory for use in traumatic experiments in the decades since.
Recently, in an experiment at the notoriousTexas Biomedical Research Institute, she was injected with an experimental hepatitis B drug and then underwent repeated painful biopsies, during which pieces of her liver were removed.
This experiment was commissioned by pharmaceutical company Arrowhead Research Corporation, even though a landmark report on the scientific validity of experiments on chimpanzees concluded that “most current biomedical research use of chimpanzees is not necessary,” including for hepatitis B research. Many drug companies—including Merck, GlaxoSmithKline, Gilead Sciences, and Novo Nordisk—have pledged to stop performing these unethical and archaic experiments on chimpanzees. PETA has repeatedly asked Arrowhead to make the same commitment, but the company has failed to act.