Canadian horse-owners will have access to an innovative technology that enhances the healing of equine tendon and ligament injuries, thanks to a new partnership between UK-based VetCell Bioscience Ltd and the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island.
The two organizations have entered into a partnership establishing the Atlantic Veterinary College as the Canadian centre for the introduction of VetCell's equine stem cell therapy technology. VetCell's technology involves extracting stem cells from an injured horse's healthy tissue, multiplying those cells in the laboratory, and re-injecting the cells into the soft tissue wound of that horse to improve healing rates and reduce re-injury.
VetCell's Chief Operating Officer, Dr. David Mountford, says that the company's technology is currently in use in some of the world's leading equestrian countries, including the UK, Australia, France, Germany, Holland, the United States, and Japan. "We've been very particular about the expertise of the partners we've chosen in each country where we are currently active," says Mountford. "The technical expertise and the equine focus that the Atlantic Veterinary College has demonstrated make them our obvious choice in Canada."
Dr. Laurie McDuffee, an equine surgeon, associate professor and researcher at the Atlantic Veterinary College, will lead the Atlantic Veterinary College laboratory in delivering this new leading-edge equine health service. Dr. McDuffee has ten years experience in regenerative medicine and cell therapies for horses.
"The Atlantic Veterinary College is very excited to be the Canadian leader in the introduction of this technology," says Dr. McDuffee. "We are eager to provide a new tool to treat horses' injuries right now. Our laboratory also has an ongoing research program in cell-based therapies and is exploring further collaborations with VetCell in the research and development of cell-based therapies for bone fracture healing and treatments for companion animals."
VetCell and the Atlantic Veterinary College are currently offering this equine health service to selected veterinary clinics in Canada. To-date, ten horses have been treated and it is expected that the service will be widely available to veterinarians and horse owners from across Canada by May 2008.
VetCell's stem cell technology will be made available to veterinary clinics across Canada through training sessions delivered by Drs. McDuffee and Mountford. The first session is scheduled to take place at the Atlantic Veterinary College in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island on March 5, 2008. A second session will be delivered in Ontario on March 7, 2008. Additional sessions are being planned across Canada.
The Atlantic Veterinary College at UPEI is committed to excellence and innovation in education, research, and professional services. The college is known around the world for its outstanding educational programs, aggressive research agenda, and being home to more than a dozen centers of expertise that range from veterinary epidemiological research to aquatic health. The Atlantic Veterinary College's Veterinary Teaching Hospital is the only full service referral hospital in Atlantic Canada.
VetCell BioScience Limited is a leading provider of stem cell technology to the world of animal health. VetCell was founded to investigate and develop the veterinary use of stem cell technologies. The company was formed in London, UK in partnership with the Royal Veterinary College and the Institute for Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Science. VetCell is committed to working with top veterinary research establishments across the world to improve and expand the range of species and conditions treated using regenerative medicine.
Illustration: Microsoft Clipart.
Atlantic Veterinary College Press Release (01/31/08)
University of Prince Island Press Release (01/31/08)