It’s not every day you earn a master’s degree, but we’re particularly thrilled for Ana Ramirez, a newly minted Master of Science graduate of Cal Poly Pomona. Ana, now a vet student at Western U, worked on both the clinical and laboratory side of the Canine Atopic Dermatitis (cAD) project that VetCell Therapeutics USA is collaborating with Western University of Health Sciences on.

Ana recently delivered her thesis presentation at the Cal Poly campus where she did a great job combining two clinical topics – clinical data from the cAD biomarkers study, and an update on clinical outcomes from our cAD cell therapy trial, up to the six-month timepoint. Some considerations had to be taken since the trial is still ongoing and blinded to the trial’s principal investigators. In attendance was Ana’s thesis committee, her family, some fellow students and VetCell Therapeutics’ own Cal Poly alumnus Tom Ramos.

The data that Ana presented was part of a study about cAD Biomarkers that was recently published in Public Library of Science (PLoS ONE 14(6): e0218670). The thesis committee seemed genuinely interested in the topic and had some great feedback on how to interpret the data. The data from the clinical results with our canine mesenchymal stem cells was brand new and had never before been seen outside of Dr. Hao’s lab. The results presented were encouraging, and it is safe to say the therapy study is trending in a positive direction. While some of the first patients of the trial are nearing their 12-month completion, the trial will officially conclude when the last patient in the trial completes its 12-month window.

The committee had some great comments and insight towards the work that has taken place to date. Given that they are not cell therapy or stem cell experts, they did bring an interesting perspective. One of the members, Dr. Douglas Durant, an immunologist, was very engaged and dived deep into the theorized models of immune modulation. Another member, Dr. Steve Alas, a cell biologist, was excited about the nuances of managing a clinical trial. Needless to say, Ana did a great job presenting these topics, and the unique perspectives of the committee sparked our team’s interest in furthering the research in many other areas of the study project.

The cAD trial is scheduled to conclude in February 2020.  Once completed, all of the data will be analyzed by Dr Hao’s team at Western University and the team at VetCell Therapeutics USA. This data will be utilized by VetCell Therapeutics in support of its INAD application for treating cAD with VetCell Therapeutics’ cell therapy product. Also, the data will be prepared into posters, presentations, and publications, further reinforcing the company’s foundation of clinical sciences.