Debilitating diseases beware: New technologies on the way to stop you in your tracks
At the 2015 Animal Health Investment Forum, held Tuesday, Sept. 1, in Kansas City, several companies presented their ideas for new products and technologies for animal health. These new ideas may be a few years from the shelves but signal possibilities for great strides in fighting disease.
- Elias Animal Health, Olathe, Kansas, is developing an immunotherapy cancer treatment, ECI, for dogs that involves creating personalized T cells, dubbed “killer T cells,” from an excised tumor taken from the patient and vaccinating that animal to attack any remaining cancer cells. A trial for treating osteosarcoma is in progress, and one to treat lymphoma will start soon.
- Emmyon, Coralville, Iowa, is investigating the compounds urosolic acid (found in apples and other edible fruits and herbs) and tomatidine (found in tomatoes) to increase muscle strength and mass while also decreasing fat. Applications include treating muscle atrophy as well as obesity in companion animals.
- FreeStride Therapeutics, Ann Arbor, Michigan, is developing PowerGait, a small molecule for treating joint and bone disease. The aim of the product, available as a tablet for dogs and a paste for horses, is to prevent further bone degeneration and revert tissue to normal. Applications include osteoarthritis and orthopedic stress-related injuries.
- GeneQuine Biotherapeutics, Hamburg, Germany, has used gene therapy to create an intra-articular injection that inhibits the inflammation and cartilage degeneration as well as pain associated with osteoarthritis. The disease-modifying product, an interleukin-1 receptor antagonist, is being investigated in horses and dogs.
- LMI-Vet, Freehold, New Jersey, wants to address the shortage of intravenous fluids by bringing to market an intravenous solution that contains dextran and liposome. The product, called Dexsome 510, has oxygen-carrying properties, provides nutrients to cells and can be used in cases in which you’d use a crystalloid or a colloid.
- Omniox, San Carlos, California, is developing an intravenous infusion, ZOX, that will release oxygen only to hypoxic cells and injured tissue, continue to facilitate oxygen uptake from these tissues, and avoid the effects of over-oxygenation in healthy tissue. In initial studies, the intravenous infusion has also been shown to increase the effectiveness of radiotherapy for canine cancer.
- Willowcraft Pharm, Denver, Colorado, is developing an injectable product, Laminil, that stops the inflammatory cascade of laminitis in horses. The product is a mast cell stabilizer that inhibits calcium ion activation, stopping inflammatory mediators in mast cells. The product is administered via distal limb perfusion.
Additional companies that presented at the investment forum were
- Anivax, Tucson, Arizona—a misting and water delivery vaccine for Campylobacter jejuni in chickens.
- EcoPlanet, Bozeman, Montana—a natural-source oral electrolyte and nutritional supplement to address dehydration associated with scours in livestock.
- Elevated Health Systems, Wichita, Kansas—an automated ultraviolet-C germicidal light for environmental sanitation and infection control.
- iNOVOTEC Animal Care, St. Louis, Missouri—a pH and temperature sensor inserted into a cow’s rumen to track herd health and evaluate their feed programs.
- Integrated Animal Health, Lawrence, Kansas—a variety of feed inclusion products to combat mastitis, scours and flies and ticks in cattle.
- Magnomics, Cantanhede, Portugal—a “lab-on-a-chip” on-site DNA test to identify common bacteria in milk to combat bovine mastitis, as well as identify antimicrobial resistance.
- Precision Animal Solutions, Manhattan, Kansas—a remote detection system to identify calves with bovine respiratory disease based on their activity levels in feedlot situations.
- Quantified Ag, Lincoln, Nebraska—sensor tags that provide behavioral and biometric data to detect sick calves in feedlot situations.
- TekWear, Norcross, Georgia—a hands-free, voice-interaction system to capture insights and data in the field.
- VetStem Biopharma, Poway, California—stem cell therapy products for canine osteoarthritis, feline chronic kidney disease and potentially equine osteoarthritis.
All of these products are still under development and will take some time to come to the market. But laminitis, cancer, osteoarthritis and the like, beware. Your time of domination may be at an end soon.