Last February, we proudly announced the partnership of VetCell Therapeutics and College of Veterinary Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences’ for a preclinical study on the effects of using Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSC) for treating canine Atopic dermatitis (AD). The overarching goal of this study was to determine whether stem cell therapy helps patients gain relief from inflammation caused by AD and lead to a reduction in scratching. This disease is prevalent in both dogs and humans (commonly known as Eczema in humans), and if the results from the trial are favorable, the team will pursue a clinical trial. The end-goal for all of this work is creating an FDA-approved stem cell therapy for AD, and potentially use what is learned from the canine study to pursue a human therapy based on the same principles.
Over the past year, the team at Western University recruited 21 client-owned dogs, both male and female, more than 1 year old, with naturally occurring, non-seasonal AD to participate in the pilot study. The study began by ruling out any allergy-related AD by first placing the dogs on a controlled grain-free diet. Once the cases of genetically-related AD had been confirmed, this group of dogs moved on to receive a series of three injections, some containing a placebo treatment and some containing the Mesenchymal Stem Cell treatment.
At our 6-month mark we reported that the first round of injections had been completed and no serious adverse events were experienced. While we had no doubts in our cells’ safety, it was still a comforting result to have since the safety of stem cells is high on the FDA’s criteria list to focus on. Overall, our team has performed very well on this project and we have been consistent and successful in our cell therapy preparation and delivery.
Now, at our one-year mark, we are excited to announce that we have hit a milestone in our research protocol. All of our study participants have been administered their full course of trial dosages and the team is now in the observation period of the study.
These next stages of the study are crucial as they will solidify the potential of Mesenchymal Stem Cells in the treatment of AD and determine the course of action for our continued research into this treatment. Over the next year, we will continue to monitor all 21 patients and closely analyze the effects of our breakthrough treatment. Upon reaching the conclusion of our study, we will unblind the data and share it with the veterinary science and stem-cell research community in the form of a peer-reviewed study.
In the upcoming months, we will provide periodic updates to discuss outcomes of the participant’s experience, and we look forward to sharing the results of our study.