Blue Buffalo Co. will award a US$6 million gift to establish the Blue Buffalo Veterinary Clinical Trials Office at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
The company’s gift will support the growth of the Clinical Trials Office (CTO), a program that facilitates studies to improve patient care and advance medical knowledge for animals and humans. These studies have resulted in the development of new treatments for cancer, heart disease and arthritis.
“This transformational gift from Blue Buffalo will significantly enhance our ability to support clinical trials for a variety of diseases from cancer to heart failure,” said Cheryl London, director of the Clinical Trials Office and professor of veterinary biosciences. “Clinical trials enhance the health and well-being of pets while also identifying more effective treatments for similar diseases that occur in people.”
The CTO supervises clinical trials involving client-owned animals including dogs, cats and horses, among others. Much like human clinical trials, clients provide consent for enrollment and their pets continue to live with them during the study. Pet parents work closely with veterinary researchers during these trials with the ultimate goal of finding new therapies, diagnostic tests and medical devices that will improve animal and human health.
“This gift is an important part of Blue Buffalo’s efforts to advance veterinary medicine across a wide range of research needs,” said Bill Bishop, company founder and chairman. “We look forward to supporting the veterinary profession for years to come as passionate clients continue to trust veterinarians who care for their family pets.”
Last year, pet parent Ted Brasky of Columbus enrolled his 7-year-old chocolate Labrador Retriever when the family pet was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone tumor found in dogs and humans. While Marley lost one of his legs to cancer, he is responding well to veterinary care at the college and continues to be active at home.
“Our pets are members of the family, and when you’re faced with a diagnosis of a serious disease, the threat of losing them is painful for everyone,” said Brasky. “Clinical trials offer hope during a difficult time because the research studies can save a pet’s life as well as lead to medical advances that will help humans and animals battling the same diseases.”
One of 30 veterinary colleges in the country, Ohio State’s College of Veterinary Medicine is ranked fifth in the nation.
Veterinarians and registered veterinary technicians in the CTO work closely with faculty, staff, residents and interns at the Veterinary Medical Center as well as participating veterinary clinics to oversee clinical trials and ensure the highest standard of patient care. The CTO is one of the largest in the country, running between 30 and 40 studies at any given time.
Since 2002, when the company was founded, Blue Buffalo has supported pet oncology studies to gain greater understanding of the causes, treatments and prevention of dog and cat cancers. The company and its partner Blue Buffalo Foundation have raised more than $12 million for pet cancer research and financial support to help pet parents with cancer treatment costs.
The Wilton, Connecticut, USA-based company was founded by Bill Bishop and his family when their large breed Airedale, Blue, was diagnosed with cancer. Working with their family veterinarian and animal nutritionists, the Bishops developed high-quality foods in honor of the beloved four-legged family member who inspired its creation.
“Blue Buffalo is proud to be associated with The Ohio State University and the Clinical Trials Office on this long-term initiative designed to enhance pet and human health,” said Bishop. “The initiative embodies our company’s mission to provide health benefits that are most valued by pet parents.”
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