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Winn Feline Foundation Awards Four New Feline Health Study Grants

Winn Feline Foundation

Vicki Thayer, DVM, DABVP (Feline)
Executive Director
888-963-6946, extension 702
Media Info

Steve Dale, CABC
Media Contact and Winn Board Member
Media Info

For Immediate Release

Wyckoff, NJ, November 27, 2017: Winn Feline Foundation is pleased to announce four new awards for feline health research. Special funding for these out-of-cycle grants has been provided by dedicated donors to the Bria Fund for FIP Research, and sponsorships by Wisdom Health and an anonymous sponsor. Winn is awarding $101,090 for studies developing a combination antiviral therapy for feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), generating a FIP vaccine by producing a protective immune response, creating cat genetic resources for standardized genetic testing, and mapping fibrosis in heart disease such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) by using non-invasive imaging.

Winn President, Shila Nordone, PhD comments, “Winn Feline Foundation is excited to have this added research funding opportunity.  This occasion allows Winn to provide support for more critical studies that could offer significant impact for cat health. 2017 has been a big year for Winn with almost $443,000 in grants funded. We cannot thank our supporters enough for making this happen.”

Grants were awarded for the following research studies:

Sponsored (Anonymous)
Mapping heart fibrosis in cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI); (MTW17-009)  
Principal Investigators: Ryan Fries, DVM, DACVIM, Jonathan Stack, DVM; University of Illinois; $33,850

Fibrous tissue in the heart (measured by MRI) is correlated with worse outcomes in humans with heart   disease. Now that MRI is commonly available in veterinary medicine, this study looks at the correlation of heart fibrosis in cats with heart disease. This non-invasive procedure will aid in determining treatment as well as prognosis for cats with heart disease such as HCM.

Sponsored by Wisdom Health
Development of cat genetic resources for standardized genetic testing; (MTW17-014)  
Principal Investigator: Leslie Lyons, PhD; University of Missouri; $11,740

While genetic testing for cats is now commonplace, most labs lack the standards and expertise to properly interpret their results. The goals of this grant are to provide DNA controls for all traits and diseases to the testing laboratories and to provide a standardized set of reports that has the needed information to provide consistent and accurate results.

Bria Fund for FIP Research Studies

Developing a safe and effective combined anticoronaviral therapy (CACT) for cats with FIP; (MTW17-020)
Principal Investigators: Brian Murphy, DVM, DACVP, Niels Pedersen, DVM, PhD; University of California-Davis; $20,500

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a common and deadly disease of cats with previously no effective treatment. This study uses compounds developed for antiviral therapy in humans to treat this disease, with promising early results. Combination anticoronaviral therapy, used successfully in humans, will be evaluated for enhanced treatment of this otherwise fatal disease.

Generating an attenuated feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) vaccine by creating a protective immune response; (MTW17-022)
Principal Investigator: Gary Whittaker, PhD; Cornell University, Susan Baker, PhD; Loyola University-Chicago; $35,000

Feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) is a common and deadly disease of cats. Previous attempts at developing a vaccine were ineffective and increased the likelihood of the disease. New information shows that mutation of a specific gene in the virus can protect against this infection without causing disease. This study attempts to develop a new live-attenuated vaccine for FIP.

Winn Feline Foundation is a non-profit organization established in 1968 that supports studies to improve cat health. Since 1968, Winn Feline Foundation has funded more than $6 million in health research for cats at more than 30 partner institutions world-wide. For further information, go to www.winnfelinefoundation.org.

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