Pfizer Animal Health has donated $1.1 million to establish a national canine tumor biospecimen bank, named the Pfizer-Canine Comparative Oncology and Genomics Consortium Biospecimen Repository.
The bank will allow the Canine Comparative Oncology and Genomics Consortium, a group of veterinary and medical researchers formed shortly after the completion of the canine genome, to study the mechanisms of cancer, evaluate new drugs and to better understand the relationship between human and animal cancers, said Michelle Haven, executive director of global discovery for Pfizer Animal Health.
It will cost about $2.2 million and take about three years to populate the tissue bank. Once completed, the tissue bank will contain about 3,000 samples, including 600 osteosarcoma, 600 lymphoma, 600 melanoma, with the remaining 1,200 drawn from other cancers.
Morris Animal Foundation, which will provide the oversight to monitor the progress of the consortium in collection, storage and distribution of tumor samples, and the AKC Canine Health Foundation provided the initial funding of $500,000 to launch the bank. The two will collaborate to secure the remaining funds.
“The Pfizer-CCOGC Biospecimen Repository will bring together several communities working on the problem of cancer in animals,” said Matthew Breen, Ph.D., treasurer of the consortium. “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.”