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MU canine pilot study for cachexia


May 04, 2017 - Animal Pharm

By Sian Lazell
Animal Pharm
May 4, 2017

Researchers at the University of Missouri (MU) are seeking canine candidates for a pilot study of a drug to treat cachexia.

Cachexia is a wasting syndrome that causes loss of appetite, lean body mass and can even lead to multiple organ failure.

In collaboration with biotechnology firm Tensive Controls, MU are investigating a drug it claims could reverse the condition. According to the National Cancer Institute, around one-third of cancer deaths in humans can be attributed to cachexia.

Tensive Controls was established in 2009 with the aim of understanding why melanocortin-based peptide drug candidates exhibit adverse cardiovascular side effects, and to synthesize analogs free of these side effects as potential drug candidates for cancer cachexia.

Sandra Bechtel, associate professor of medical oncology at the MU Veterinary Health Center and lead investigator for the trial, explained: "The goal of this drug trial is to extend and improve the quality of life of cancer patients who are suffering from cachexia. The clinical trial is targeting a disease that significantly decreases quality of life. We are working to improve end-stage quality of life for our veterinary patients with the hopes of translating the improvements to human patients."

While the end goal is to develop the drug for use in human health, it also has potential as a treatment in the animal health space.

According to a paper published in 2011 in the Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine, cachexia is an emerging syndrome of importance that affects a large proportion of dogs and cats with congestive heart failure.

Reprinted with permission of Animal Pharm News

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