Celavie Biosciences

Celavet Animal Health

Innovative Stem Cell Technology Heals Abused Pit Bull “Bernie”

Regenerative medicine start-up granted compassionate use by CVM to aid animal with severe burns

OXNARD, Calif., Aug. 31, 2011—Veterinary regenerative medicine start-up Celavet Inc., a subsidiary of Celavie Biosciences LLC, provided the undifferentiated stem cells successfully used for the treatment of a pit bull with severe burns. Collaborators Dr. Boyd Wagner of Wyomissing Animal Hospital and Dr. Oleg Kopyov of Celavet administered the treatment using a new stem cell technology and a newly created protocol, which resulted in near-total restoration of damaged tissue.

Bernie was an abused pit bull whose owner left him on the metal roof of a row home in Reading, Penn., for several scorching hot summer days when temperatures reached 110°F. He developed severe third-degree burns to all four paws, with no skin remaining, and burns to his back and legs. The local director of the Animal Rescue League approached Celavet and asked for help with treatment based on encouraging pilot research projects performed with their stem cells. The Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) approved compassionate use treatment.

Dr. Kopyov and Dr. Wagner injected the cells in a circular pattern around the rim of each pad and added a layer of protection with a scaffolding to hold the cells in place and give them a surface for attachment. The paws were then wrapped and bandaged. After five weeks, Bernie’s paws showed almost total restoration with no scar tissue.

“Bernie’s case was heartbreaking, and we are extremely pleased with the outcome,” said Kopyov. “We have pending plans for preclinical study and submitting an Investigational New Animal Drug (INAD) for chronic wounds and burns.”

Celavet’s previous research has focused on transplanting allogeneic stem cells into the ligaments and tendons of injured horses to enable them to regain their fullest potential as competitors, performers, workers or companions.

Celavie and Celavet use the latest technological breakthroughs to produce large banks of undifferentiated cells with uniform qualities utilizing closed-system bioreactors. The cells are grown in a specialized patented medium that allows them to maintain their sterility and genetic stability over the course of the manufacturing process.

Celavet uses the same standardized and controlled production methods to establish equine, canine, and feline stem cell lines as those used by parent company Celavie Biosciences in the manufacture of human cells. Stem cell lines from different species all express standard stem cell characteristics and are available to address pathologies in their respective species.

Bernie is still looking for his forever home. Interested families can submit an application with the Animal Rescue League of Berks County.


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