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First canine patient receives Vetigenics’ fully canine anti-CTLA4 monoclonal antibody for oral melanoma

Two fully funded pilot studies to treat cancer free for pet owners who bring their dogs to research sites.
PHILADELPHIA, Nov. 2, 2023—Vetigenics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company advancing antibody-based therapies for pets, announces that the first canine patient with stage 4 oral melanoma has received his first dose of Vetigenics’ fully canine anti-CTLA4 monoclonal antibody (VGS-001) following standard of care radiation therapy.

The anti-CTLA4 monoclonal antibody is derived from Vetigenics’ proprietary fully canine single chain variable fragment phage display library, created by Vetigenics co-founder Don Siegel, PhD, MD. It is being combined with focal radiation therapy in a protocol that aims to take advantage of the immunogenic effects of radiation combined with the immune-activating effects of the antibody. This combination has shown success in mouse models and in human cancer patients and sees Vetigenics well-positioned to bring veterinary cancer immunotherapies in line with human approaches.

The trial is fully funded by the National Cancer Institute and is being performed at North Carolina State Veterinary Hospital (principal investigator: Michael Nolan, DVM, PhD, DACVR) and University of Missouri Veterinary Health Center (principal investigator: Jeffrey Bryan, DVM, PhD, DACVIM). It aims to determine the tolerability and effect of the anti-CTLA4 antibody on the patient’s immune response and whether it can control primary and metastatic disease.

A second clinical trial has recently opened that will determine the effects of Vetigenics’ second fully canine checkpoint inhibitor, anti-canine PD1 (VGS-002), in dogs with urothelial carcinoma (bladder cancer).

This trial is being conducted in partnership with Ethos Veterinary Health and is funded by a grant from the V Foundation and the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation. Vetigenics is providing VGS002 for the study, which aims to determine tolerability and pharmacodynamic effects as well as identify correlative biomarkers of clinical response in pet dogs with urothelial carcinoma.

Dogs participating in this study will be evaluated and receive treatment at Colorado Animal Specialty & Emergency in Boulder, Colorado (principal investigator: Annie Galloway, DVM, MS, DACVIM), or Veterinary Specialty Hospital – North County in San Marcos, California (principal investigator: Chris Thomson, DVM, DACVS).

“These therapies have the potential to transform the way veterinary oncologists treat cancer and the outcomes of their cancer patients. Vetigenics’ monoclonal antibodies offer new hope for families dealing with their pet’s diagnosis and treatment,” said Vetigenics co-founder Nicola Mason, BVetMed, PhD, DACVIM, MRCVS. “The principal researchers at each site are second to none in their field, and I’m honored to be working together with such esteemed colleagues to make a difference for our canine companions.”

“We are thrilled that we’ve been able to advance these products into pet dogs in a focused, efficient, and cost-effective manner,” said Adriann Sax, president, CEO and co-founder of Vetigenics. “By maintaining our dedication to the mission and collaborating closely with the veterinary cancer community and National Cancer Institute, we’ve reached two key milestones in bringing these novel therapies into the canine cancer clinic.”

For a detailed list of inclusion and exclusion criteria for both trials, and to find out more about participating locations, interested pet owners can visit Vetigenics Clinical Trials.

About Vetigenics

Vetigenics is a clinical-stage animal health biopharmaceutical company committed to advancing targeted antibody therapies for pets from a platform that provides unlimited therapeutic potential. Its proprietary CANIBODY™ technology unlocks faster, more cost-effective, and ethical solutions to develop superior antibodies proven effective in humans with cancer and chronic diseases but created specifically for pets. The company’s innovative technology and pioneering expertise in antibody discovery and development are trusted by global animal health partners and the National Cancer Institute. At Vetigenics, we are dedicated to enabling pets to live their best lives. For more details, visit and connect with us on LinkedIn.

Media and Investor Contact:
Adriann Sax

(908) 794-1085

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