Winn grant W12-026 , a Bria Fund project
Anti-immune evasive therapy in the treatment of FIP – a randomized,
controlled clinical trial
Investigators: Hans Nauwynck, Sabine Gleich; Ghent University, Belgium
This project is a continuation of a previous Winn grant (W10-039): Development of a novel treatment strategy to inhibit the immune evasion mechanism of feline infectious peritonitis virus
Feline coronavirus exists in two forms: a less harmful (avirulent) strain that can cause mild enteritis and a highly pathogenic (virulent) strain that causes a progressive and usually fatal disease known as feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). Cats living in multi‐cat environments (e.g., shelter cats or cats in breeding catteries) are at a particularly high risk to develop FIP. An effective therapy is currently not available and affected cats usually succumb to their disease. Previous research has shown that FIP virus can evade the host’s immune system and that a specific blocking agent can inhibit this evasion mechanism. It has been shown in a previous project that this agent is well tolerated when administered to healthy cats and that the desired plasma concentration can be achieved with different administration routes.
In this project, the investigators will evaluate the efficacy of the inhibitor as a treatment for FIP in 10 naturally infected cats. In addition, the pharmacological behavior of the compound will be determined in the first 6 cats that enter this study. If the results of this pilot study are promising, the project will be expanded into a randomized, controlled trial. The goal of this project is to improve the quality of life and survival of cats with FIP by enabling the host’s immune system to recognize and destroy infected cells.
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