Dr. Mark Suckow, former faculty member and Associate Vice President of Research at the University of Notre Dame has dedicated his research career to understanding ways to stimulate the immune system against cancer.
Specifically, his research focused on tissue vaccines, a way to utilize a patient’s own tumor tissue and antigens unique to in vivo growth of the cancer. Utilizing this approach, he demonstrated an effective anti-tumor response is associated with the enormous menu of antigens that are part of the tumor and surrounding stromal tissue.
However, around Christmas 2010, he received terrible news that his family’s Labrador retriever, Sadie, was diagnosed with squamous cell carcinoma and given less than a month to live. It was Dr. Suckow’s daughters who convinced their father to utilize the research he had been working on in his lab to develop a personalized cancer treatment for Sadie.
Using a portion of Sadie’s resected tumor, he created the immunotherapy that was given back to her over the course of a month. Her metastatic cancer with multiple tumor nodules began to recede and stopped spreading. Sadie survived for more than three years, cancer free, before dying of natural causes.
Dr. Suckow’s research led to the formation of Torigen, Inc., a company focused on providing personalized cancer immunotherapies to the veterinary market.
Their family is not alone in this problem with over 8 million companion animals in the United States diagnosed with cancer every year. Torigen’s novel, personalized immunotherapy, VetiVaxTM uses the animals’ existing tumor cells to fight cancer.
Using a surgically excised portion of tumor tissue, we create a series of treatments that are given back to the animal to help stimulate their immune system to fight the cancer in this personalized approach.
Sadie and Dr. Suckow are one of numerous cases. Each year in the United States, over 47% of all dogs over the age of ten will die from cancer.
This increasing problem is segmented by the fact that current treatments are expensive and could potentially lead to negative side effects.
VetiVax is a revolutionary veterinary cancer treatment that uses the patient’s tumor cells to create a personalized immunotherapy. Using a surgically excised portion of the tumor, our laboratory creates a multi-dose VetiVax treatment that is administered subcutaneously over three weeks.
Torigen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Torigen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is focused on providing veterinary cancer care solutions for companion animals. Our novel, personalized immunotherapy that uses the animals’ existing tumor cells to fight cancer. When combined with an innovative bulking agent, MIM™ (matrix immune modulator), an overall reduction in tumor size and inhibition of metastasis has been observed throughout multiple peer-reviewed publications. This is the basis and foundation for Torigen’s personalized veterinary cancer treatment, VetiVax.