Morris Animal Foundation Grant Funds FIP Research

New treatment shows promise in stopping deadly disease of cats

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#FIP–Researchers at Kansas State University, Wichita State University and the
University of California, Davis, recently reported they successfully
blocked progression of feline infectious peritonitis, a viral infection
of cats that is nearly 100 percent fatal. The study was funded in part
with a grant from Morris Animal Foundation.

“This is an exciting development in FIP research with the potential to
have a major impact on feline health worldwide,” said Dr. Barbara Wolfe,
Chief Scientific Officer at Morris Animal Foundation. “FIP is a
significant problem for kittens and cats under 2 years of age,
particularly in shelter environments or catteries. If we continue to be
successful in this research, it will represent a major breakthrough in
treating this terrible disease.”

Drs. Yunjeong Kim and Kyeong-Ok Chang at Kansas State University, and
Dr. William Groutas at Wichita State University, have been developing
compounds that have broad anti-viral activity. They recently
demonstrated, in collaboration with Dr. Niels Pedersen at UC Davis, that
one of their research compounds stopped progression of disease and led
to clinical recovery when given to cats with FIP.

“These findings showed that inhibiting growth of the virus is the
critical component of treatment for FIP,” said Dr. Kim. “This will help
us and other researchers to find a way to effectively manage or treat
FIP in the future. Also, these findings have broader implications for
other important coronavirus infections, since no antiviral drugs exist
for human or animal coronaviruses.”

Coronaviruses are the causative agents of many important diseases in
both humans and animals, including severe acute respiratory syndrome and
Middle East respiratory syndrome, and can cause diarrhea in dogs and

Morris Animal Foundation recently
has committed $1.2 million
to fund research that will advance
knowledge of FIP. After a rigorous selection process, Dr. Kim and her
team received an additional grant to conduct a clinical trial
investigating the effect of the newly identified compound in
client-owned cats with FIP.

The clinical trial currently is underway as a collaborative effort
between Kansas State University and UC Davis. The researchers hope to
enroll up to 70 cats with FIP into the trial, and anticipate the study
will be completed in two years.

The first phase of the trial involving 15 cats with various forms of FIP
is fully enrolled and no more cats are being accepted for treatment at
this time. The researchers will take two to three months to allow time
to evaluate preliminary results and decide on what forms of FIP will
respond best to treatment and the optimal dosage regimen. Once those
determinations are made, the trial will be re-opened for another small
group of cats that meet trial guidelines.

About Morris Animal Foundation

Animal Foundation
is a global leader in funding scientific studies
that advance the health and well-being of companion animals, horses and
wildlife. Since its founding in 1948, the Foundation has invested more
than $103 million toward 2,500+ studies that have led to significant
breakthroughs in preventive medicine, diagnostics and treatments
benefitting animals around the world.


Morris Animal Foundation
Carol Borchert, 303-708-3418