• Little is known regarding the natural progression of many animal diseases or the true efficacy of the treatments provided these animals. Databases such as the ones developed by CARE will be critical in improving health care of veterinary patients by providing a reliable, sophisticated resource for investigators to review or collect information on these patients (prospective and retrospectives studies as well as clinical trials).
  • Animal & human diseases are often similar in their cause & natural progression & because environmental factors affecting domestic animals and their owners are typically the same, animals with spontaneous disease represent an excellent model for human disease.
  • Studying spontaneous disease has numerous benefits in terms of relevance and cost over creating experimental models of animals.
  • The promotion of evidence-based medicine requires a systematic method of capturing information regarding naturally occurring animal disease and its response to environmental factors (including diet) and therapy.
  • Experimental models using laboratory animals (even genetically engineered lab animals) are not good predictors of human efficacy
  • Our dependence on experimental animals as our only preclinical index of potential efficacy therefore:
    • Wastes animal lives and money
    • Lengthens the “critical pathway” for drug development, since drugs may work in an experimental model, but fail once they are in human clinical trials
    • Increases the cost of human healthcare
    • Provides a major barrier to development of drugs for orphan diseases or for veterinary use where markets are not large enough to warrant the cost of development
  • Using animals with spontaneous disease for clinical studies has the potential to reduce the cost of healthcare and change the “critical pathway” for drug, device, and product development worldwide
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1. Improving our understanding of disease

  • Ability to study the pathogenesis of disease & its effect on animals in natural setting.
  • Ability to apply evidence-based medicine to veterinary practice.
  • Reduction in the number of companion animals needed for research.
  • Identification of new, relevant models of spontaneous diseases for drug development and device testing.
  • Investigation & identification of appropriate genomic studies in animal populations that will further our knowledge and understanding of the etiology and heredity of diseases affecting animals and humans.
  • Education of industry and health professionals in various disciplines regarding the importance of studying spontaneous disease in animals and the vital, unique contribution such information will make on human and animal health.

2. Benefits to Pets & Owners

  • Development of new drugs, devices and diagnostic procedures with direct application to the health of pets and their owners.
  • Reduced cost of veterinary care to owners whose pets are enrolled in clinical studies.
  • Availability of leading edge veterinary care for animal patients who are enrolled in clinical studies.
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1. Developing a Knowledge Base

  • Identification of spontaneous animal diseases relevant to human diseases.
  • Development of a registry for animals with spontaneous diseases (RESPOND™), a structured database providing a unique source of information on naturally occurring (spontaneous) animal disease.
  • Identification and registration of animals with relevant spontaneous disease whose owners are interested in participating in clinical studies.

2. Developing the Framework & Competence

  • Establishing a regional network of veterinarians capable of conducting clinical studies.
  • Establishing an organization to monitor clinical animal studies and ensure the greatest opportunity for success of these endeavors.
  • Interfacing with and educating human and veterinary industry personnel, physicians, veterinarians, and researchers of the benefits of utilizing animals with spontaneous disease.
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