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Basepaws partners with Project 25 to extend cats’ lifespans

dvm360dvm360 August 2021
Volume 52

This unique collaboration will help uncover findings that can prolong the lives of cats, plus potentially be used to inform human studies on longevity and age-related diseases.

cat outside

DenisNata / stock.adobe.com

Basepaws Pet Health—an animal genetic testing and cat health products company—has teamed up with Dr Ernie Ward's Project 25 to distinguish the genetic markers linked to longer lifespans and healthspans in cats.

According to a company release, Project 25's mission is to increase pet lives by no less than 25% by the year 2025. The results from this partnership garner the potential to provide a heightened biological understanding of genetic variants often associated with a decreased chance of developing various age-related conditions (eg, cardiovascular and renal disorders, diabetes).

“Companion animal genetic research has historically been synonymous with canine genetic research, mostly leaving felines out of the limelight,” says Yuliana Mihaylova, PhD, Basepaws’ head of research & development, in the release.

“This collaboration between Basepaws and Project 25 is a big step towards equalizing the playing field and giving cats a fighting chance against degenerative diseases associated with old age,” she adds.

Additionally, this alliance will help propel the development of novel therapies targeting age-related diseases with poor prognoses, and improving the quality of life for senior felines. The discoveries also have the potential to be used to inform human studies on longevity and age-related illnesses.

Both Basepaws and Project 25 are actively recruiting senior cats 17 years or older to partake in their longevity research project. Cat parents will be sent an oral swab kit and required to collect a DNA sample from their feline and complete health-related documentation to return to Basepaws’ lab. All participants will receive the company's signature cat DNA report free of charge as a complimentary thank you for their contribution.

“I believe every cat should live to celebrate their 25th birthday and do so in good health. The first step towards achieving this goal is identifying the genetic differences that distinguish those very special cats who already live a healthy life into their late teens and twenties from the general cat population," says Ernie Ward, DVM, founder of Project 25, in the release.

"We can then use this knowledge to develop tools that help all cats live a longer and healthier life. It’s our goal to extend the life expectancy of cats to 25, and perhaps beyond," he adds.

To advance pet healthcare even further, Basepaws also recently launched its Basepaws Cat Dental Health Test which analyzes the relative abundance of more than 600 microbes in a feline’s mouth to aid the detection of early signs of feline dental disease.

To learn more about Basepaws and its innovative biotechnologies, go here.

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