Through its clinical trials for animal patients, Colorado State University helped prove the usefulness of the first drug approved by the FDA for treatment of canine lymphoma, a breakthrough in veterinary oncology that promises new hope for pet dogs with this common type of cancer.
“Across the board, we saw some positive activity in up to 80 percent of all the lymphoma patients that were treated with this medication,” said Dr. Doug Thamm, a veterinarian and cancer researcher who led clinical trials at CSU’s Flint Animal Cancer Center.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced Tuesday that the lymphoma drug, Tanovea-CA1, is approved for use in canine patients and will be available to veterinarians nationwide this spring. This conditional approval may be extended annually with further evidence of effectiveness; full approval is possible in five years.
CSU has been pivotal in the medication’s march to market: VetDC, Inc., is the university startup whose principals a decade ago identified Tanovea-CA1 for its potential in treating dogs with lymphoma. The drug, whose active ingredient is rabacfosadine, was first developed for use in human cancer patients.
Veterinarians with the Flint Animal Cancer Center have been key advisors as the Fort Collins-based VetDC has refined Tanovea-CA1 for veterinary use. CSU veterinarians also helped treat canine cancer patients whose cases contributed proof of the drug’s usefulness. More than 100 dogs were treated with Tanovea at CSU since 2011; 350 dogs were treated nationwide.