The U.S. Patent Office issued a patent today that nonprofit Hemopet says will give it exclusive rights to develop nutrigenomic supplements for companion pets in the U.S., and the organization is also expanding the testing protocol of its Nutriscan technology.
The patent was originally filed 12 years ago by Hemopet president Jean Dodds, DVM. Dr. Dodds said the patent gives Garden Grove, Calif.-based Hemopet prior rights to the technology over others who filed for patents.
The technology described in the patent uses an electronic database and a software routine to determine a relationship between genomic map data relating to a physiological condition or genotype of an animal and data comprising the effect of nutrition on the expression of at least one gene in the genomic map. A nutritional diet is then determined, formulated and prepared based on the relationship. Dr. Dodds said the technology could be used to determine a nutritional diet for an individual animal or for groups of animals, such as those with a specific health condition or a particular lifestyle. The cost of an individual diagnostic test for a cat or dog is about $100 to $150, according to Dr. Dodds.
Hemopet plans to launch nutrigenomic pet food supplements in Europe, where its formulas are currently being tested, in 2012. Hemopet hopes to partner with a U.S. pet food company to bring the technology stateside, Dr. Dodds said.
Dr. Dodds said the efficacy of the products has been proven through clinical trials in Europe, but that the nonprofit needs to partner with a pet food company to bring the technology to the U.S., because of the difficulty in making efficacy claims in this country.
Meanwhile, the company’s Nutriscan technology will expand from testing for six antigens to 20 by January of 2012. Nutriscan utilizes saliva diagnostics to test animals for pet food sensitivity and intolerance.