A workshop on Comparative Oncology, hosted by the World Small AnimalVeterinary Association (WSAVA’s) One Health Committee (WSAVA OHC) during its2019 World Congress in Toronto, has resulted in the publication of amanuscript that highlights the value of closer commercial relationshipsbetween the human and animal health pharmaceutical and biotech sectors tospeed up the development of cancer treatments for both humans and dogs.

Drs Chand Khanna, DVM, PhD, Diplomate, American College of Veterinary InternalMedicine (Oncology) at Ethos Veterinary Health and Ethos Discovery, WilliamEward, DVM, MD, Diplomate, American Board of Orthopedic Surgery at DukeUniversity, and Joelle Fenger DVM, PhD, Diplomate, American College ofVeterinary Internal Medicine (Oncology) at the Ohio State University Collegeof Veterinary Medicine, led the workshop with the aim of continuing thedevelopment of a new strategy for enhancing cancer drug development using aOne Health approach.

Many of the cancers afflicting companion animals also occur in humans,offering the opportunity to improve the lives of animal and human patients bystudying cancers and treatments in both species in parallel. Delegates at theworkshop included other members of the WSAVA OHC, academics and industryrepresentatives working in cancer research with an emphasis on drug discovery.

The resulting manuscript has now been published in Annals of Medicine andClinical Oncology. Entitled ‘Delivering Innovation to Oncology DrugDevelopment through Cancer Drug DISCO (Development Incentive Strategy usingComparative Oncology): Perspectives, Gaps and Solutions’, it outlines newcommercial perspectives on the value of closer relationships between the humanand animal health pharmaceutical and biotech sectors to deliver a ‘win/win’for successful cancer drug development in humans and dogs.

Dr Khanna commented: “The new perspective on Comparative Oncology we outlineprovides an innovative, self-funding approach to improve human cancer drugdevelopment and we are delighted that this new Development IncentivizationStrategy using Comparative Oncology (DISCO) was initiated with the support ofthe WSAVA One Health Committee.

“We hope our recommendations will reposition Comparative Oncology caninetrials as integral and parallel to human development and that this move willcreate opportunities for step-wise iteration and the improvements in the humancancer drug development path that are increasingly necessary.”

Dr David Bruyette of Anivive Inc. and manuscript co-author, added: “In ourexperience pharma/biotech commercial transactions including human health andanimal health partners are not only feasible, but create important values andde-risking opportunities for both parties. Indeed, we have recently completedsimilar transactions in our development of a new drugs for oncology”.

“Commercial transactions may include cross licensing between animal health andhuman pharma/biotech, where translational data on the optimal use of drugcandidates from studies in pet dogs with naturally occurring cancers informhuman trials, as well as pet trials for regulatory approval in animal healthmarkets,” stated Dr David Warshawsky, Founder and Chairman of Vuja De Sciencesand Drug DISCO pioneer. He added: “This approach is a core value of our novelcancer drug development strategy.”

“The field of Comparative Oncology as part of cancer drug development standsout as a successful example of the One Health approach to medicine and thisnew manuscript presents a nuanced and novel strategy to deliver thistranslational opportunity,” said Michael Lappin DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Chair ofWSAVA One Health Committee.

The authors and the WSAVA OHC plan to use the manuscript as the springboardfor further new initiatives to expand awareness of Comparative Oncology and todrive forward its use to create the proposed and necessary closer alignment ofhuman and animal health pharma and biotech.

The WSAVA’s One Health Committee was founded by Emeritus Professor Michael Dayto ensure the prominence of the companion animal-human interface in the globalOne Health agenda. Its members include veterinarians and human doctors,together with representation from the OIE and CDC. The work of the One HealthCommittee is kindly supported by the Purina Institute.

The WSAVA represents more than 200,000 veterinarians worldwide through its 113member associations and works to enhance standards of clinical care forcompanion animals. Its core activities include the development of WSAVA GlobalGuidelines in key areas of veterinary practice, including pain management,nutrition and vaccination, together with lobbying on important issuesaffecting companion animal care worldwide.

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