Stem Cell therapy is going to the dogs
STEM CELLS GOING TO THE DOGS (Orthopedics This Week)
Aratana Therapeutics, Inc. has entered into an agreement to develop and commercialize a novel stem cell therapy for dogs. The licensor, Vet-Stem, Inc., pioneered the use of adipose tissue (fat) sourced stem cell therapies for veterinary medicine.
If approved, this would become the first FDA-blessed, “off the shelf” regenerative cell therapy for treating osteoarthritis in dogs. As part of the deal, Aratana agreed to invest up to $5 million ($0.5 million contract signing + up to $4.5 million in milestone based payments) for R&D and to pay royalties on commercialization.
Aratana is a pet therapeutics company with a focus on licensing, developing and commercializing innovative biopharmaceutical products for cats, dogs and other companion animals. “Our sole focus is on solving the unmet and underserved medical needs of pets. Our entire approach to pet therapeutics is built around this single idea. We’re working to bring scientific advances from human health to pets and veterinary medicine.” said, Steven St. Peter, M.D., company president and CEO.
Vet-Stem creates stem cell technologies for veterinary medicine. The company developed the use of adipose tissue as a source for stem cells for animals. Up to this point, stem cell therapies were only available using the animal’s own tissues. This required harvesting and reintroduction in two procedures approximately 48 hours apart.
Since 2003 Vet-Stem’s adipose from the animal approach has been used about 8,000 times with, says the company on its website, good outcomes. Vet-Stem also points out that this current approach to harvesting stem cells for use in animals allows for excess doses to be banked and used for future therapies, but only for the donating animals.
The goal of this project between Aratana and Vet-Stem is to change treatment modalities to a product-based stem cell therapy vs. the current service-based model. According to the press release describing the Aratana/Vet-Stem deal, this breakthrough technology would allow for lower overall treatment costs for veterinary based treatments of osteoarthritis leading, in turn, to higher market penetration and the benefits of batch manufacturing.