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Precision medicine for dogs? Silicon Valley startup wants to make it happen

| | February 5, 2019
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

When pet dogs are diagnosed with cancer, they typically get surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation — that is, of course, if their owner opts to treat it.

Now, a Silicon Valley startup wants to offer precision medicine instead — by recommending targeted therapies that are normally used to treat humans. For a price tag in the low four figures, depending on the veterinary clinic, the One Health Company will sequence a dog’s tumor and generate a report with recommendations.

The pitch is attracting some high-profile interest here in the Bay Area, where it’s not unusual for dog owners to spend tens of thousands of dollars to try to keep their beloved pet alive.

As with some treatments for humans, the availability of new medical options has prompted a debate over whether pet owners may in some cases be prolonging the suffering of animals by pursuing aggressive care. Skeptics point to the many dogs in shelters who need homes — and to the many people with cancer who don’t get genetic sequencing of their tumors.

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[CEO Christina] Lopes, though, said her company is dedicated to improving cancer care not just for dogs, but for people, too. As her company profiles the tumors of dogs, it’s gathering a trove of valuable genetic data that Lopes hopes can help inform the development of therapies for humans.

Read full, original post: With human drugs, a Silicon Valley startup hopes to deliver precision medicine to dogs

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