Pfizer makes $1.1-million deposit in canine cancer biospecimen bank


New York - Pfizer Animal Health donated $1.1 million to the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) to establish a national canine tumor biospecimen bank.

NEW YORK — Pfizer Animal Health donated $1.1 million to the Morris Animal Foundation (MAF) to establish a national canine tumor biospecimen bank.

The bank is expected to be valuable in treating cancer in dogs, and may provide insights into human cancer. Funds for the tumor bank are restricted to the Canine Comparative Oncology and Genetics Consortium (CCOGC), a group of veterinary and medical researchers who have determined that a well-described repository of canine-tumor tissues is an essential resource for progress in new cancer therapies.

The new resource has been named the Pfizer-CCOGC Biospecimen Repository and will be located in Bethesda, Md.

MAF, established in 1948, took the lead in securing the donation and will provide oversight to monitor the progress of the CCOGC in collection, storage and distribution of tumor samples. MAF previously funded more than 80 canine-cancer studies and is scheduled to announce a major canine-cancer initiative in April 2007.

MAF and the AKC Canine Health Foundation provided the initial funding ($500,000) to launch the national biospecimen bank and will be collaborating to secure remaining funds. The estimated total cost to populate the tissue bank is $2.2 million. The estimated time to populate it is three years.

Once completed, the tissue bank will contain about 3,000 samples, including: 600 osteosarcoma, 600 lymphoma and 600 melanoma, with the remaining 1,200 specimens drawn from other cancers. The samples will be used by veterinary and medical scientists working on new cancer treatments around the world, MAF reports.

"Cancer is a serious health issue for pets, with approximately 50 percent of dogs over the age of 10 dying of cancer," says Michelle Haven, executive director of global discovery for Pfizer Animal Health.

"We work closely with our human health colleagues at Pfizer to ensure that we take advantage of any scientific research opportunities that may hold benefit for both humans and animals. The canine-cancer tissue bank will allow veterinary and medical investigators to explore the mechanisms of cancer, to evaluate promising new drug candidates and perhaps better understand the relationship between human and animal cancers," Haven says.

"Cancer often has devastating affects on our lives, whether it is an animal or human family member or friend," says Dr. Patricia N. Olson, MAF president/CEO. "Thanks to Pfizer, CCOGC and the AKC Canine Health Foundation, high-quality canine-tumor tissue samples will offer scientists a unique tool. Through helping our canine best friends, we just might also help ourselves."

Dr. Matthew Breen, CCOGC treasurer, adds, "Having access to a large, thoroughly catalogued supply of tumor tissues for investigations of cancer biology should significantly accelerate the development of novel anticancer therapies."

For more information or to donate, contact Dr. Olson at (800) 243-2345, or

Related Videos
© 2023 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.