Veterinary specialist pursues first cancer drug for dogs

January 7, 2013 by  

A veterinary specialist has recently announced that it will be working on the development of a drug which can battle canine lymphoma.

The drug, known as VDC-1101, was first developed to be used on humans but was deemed to be unsuitable. Now that the drug is under the control of Veterinary Emerging Technologies Development Corporation, work will be carried out to develop the drug for use with dogs.

There are only two therapies in the U.S. that can be used to treat cancer in dogs – Palladia and Oncept. Dr. Greg Ogilvie, based at veterinary specialists in Carlsbad, California, believes that a new lymphoma drug could extend the lives of dogs by years rather than months. According to the Food and Drug Administration, other cancer drugs were developed to be used on humans and have not received approval to be used on animals.

The profile of VetDC, which appeared in Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, states that tests, treatments and devices which were originally developed for use in humans but rejected will be developed for use in animals. The company was started in 2010 and gained a license for an agent from Gilead Sciences, Inc. which could target and destroy lymphoma cells. The original name of the agent was GS-9219, but was renamed VDC-1101.

According to the president and CEO of VetDC, Steven J. Roy, Gilead carried out tests on dogs before performing human trials and had a response rate of 80%. However, as the drug was not suitable for humans it was never developed. If the drug is developed, possibly within two years, local brochure printers will no doubt be required to make the details of the drug available to all in the veterinary profession.