Christmas greetings from SOCK FIP

with current information from Dr. Brian Murphy and Patty Pesavento

Original article: Season's Greetings from SOCK FIP

Funding from the SOCK FIP program has made great progress this year in our clinical trials at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine. Drs Brian Murphy, Amir Kol and Krystle Reagan are leading three new clinical trials. Their goal was to identify FIP treatment strategies that are highly effective, legally available, and affordable. GS-441524, a drug closely related to remdesivir, has been found to be safe and effective in treating cats with naturally occurring FIP, but is not licensed in the United States. However, the FDA may soon grant full approval to remdesivir, allowing it to be legally sold for veterinary use. The study will include two treatment groups – one receiving oral GS-441524 and the other receiving oral remdesivir for comparison. Cats must be diagnosed with the wet form of FIP to be included in the study. A third clinical trial is trying to see if antiviral drugs combined with mesenchymal stem cells can improve the response to FIP treatment. The goal of the study is to determine whether cell therapy can enhance the natural antiviral immune response and promote the regeneration of lymphatic tissue after infection. The two treatment groups in this study receive either oral GS-441524 along with stem cell infusion or oral GS-441524 with placebo. Cats must be between 3 and 12 months of age and suffer from the wet form of FIP. Owners interested in enrolling their cats in these clinical trials must reside near Davis, California due to the need for repeat follow-up visits. For more information about these tests, call the Clinical Trials Office at 855-823-1390. Although we do not currently have the final results of these treatment studies, field cases that have been assigned to different treatment groups are generally doing very well.

The Center for Companion Animal Health (CCAH) at the University of California, Davis, also used donations from the SOCK FIP to support Drs. Patty Pesavento and Terza Brostof's fourth project. They lead a team of biophysicists, immunologists and vaccinologists in the development of an mRNA vaccine against feline enteric coronavirus (FECV) and its mutant biotype FIP virus (FIPV). This vaccine, based on the technology used to produce the modern mRNA vaccine for COVID-19, will hopefully lead to the generation of sufficient immunity to reduce the incidence and negative consequences of diseases such as FIP and FECV infections. Work on this vaccine has progressed rapidly and significantly over the past year. They developed the first mRNAs to be tested and the nanoparticle molecules that coat the mRNAs so that they can be safely administered. They are currently working on methods to scale up production to begin laboratory and field testing. Since the actual virus is not present in the cat's body, there is no risk that the cat will develop the disease. This makes mRNA vaccines a potential breakthrough in the fight against feline diseases that have so far been very difficult to prevent, including FIP.