VCCT Circle Fund
Directly Supporting UC Davis Veterinary Researchers
The Veterinary Center for Clinical Trials (VCCT) is dedicated to facilitating high-quality research that benefits veterinary and human medicine. Our clinical trials help advance medical care for patients with naturally occurring diseases or injuries in a variety of disciplines including oncology, internal medicine, soft tissue surgery, neurology, orthopedics, ophthalmology, and cardiology. One way we help UC Davis researchers is by offering the CIRCLE Fund program, which aims to support our veterinary researchers with direct assistance to complete their trials.
As members of the UC Davis research community, our investigators are encouraged to consider important scientific questions like:
- Can we cure feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) using an inexpensive drug already FDA-approved for human use?
- Do genetic differences affect canine heart disease?
- What dose would be the safest and most effective to use in dogs for an early cancer-detecting drug? How can the findings be applied to human patients?
- Will an ultra-long-acting recombinant insulin help treat cats with diabetes mellitus?
Getting real-time answers to these questions can be difficult, as our investigators can face many roadblocks along the way to their discoveries. Funding opportunities can be limited and may only cover a portion of a complete clinical study. An investigator’s time can be too tight – with teaching, standard patient care, and publishing responsibilities – to effectively manage the day-to-day efforts that a successful trial requires. And support staff often do not have the capacity to handle the additional patients that come to the UC Davis veterinary hospital for clinical trials appointments.
The VCCT can offer this assistance to our investigators.
With a team of highly trained Clinical Trial Coordinators who work with researchers within their clinical services, we help recruit patients, educate clients and facilitate their needs, assist with patient care, collect data on research findings, and help report those findings.
The CIRCLE Fund program launched in Spring 2022, with a call for applications from researchers who have trials that involve client-owned hospital patients and that will result in authored publication of trial results. CIRCLE Fund trials are generally not funded by corporate entities or large government grants, but instead these trials receive limited support from non-profit organizations, like Morris Animal Foundation, American Veterinary Medical Association, and the UC Davis Center for Companion Animal Health. The Spring 2002 call for research proposals elicited numerous applications, and three were chosen to receive VCCT CIRCLE program support. Our goal is to support even more trials in the future.
Spring 2022 CIRCLE Fund Trials
Assessing an antiviral drug for treating FIP in cats - FIP is a fatal disease in cats with no available FDA-approved treatment or vaccine. Antiviral drugs that decrease virus replication have been investigated with promising results, however, they are not readily available in the U.S. and can cause reactions at the injection site. In this trial, oral formulations of two antiviral drugs, remdesivir and GS-441524, are tested and compared in cats with wet FIP.
Evaluating kitten ringworm treatments - Ringworm is a common superficial fungal skin infection that is typically self-limiting and not life-threatening. However, ringworm is contagious and can be spread to other animals and humans. This clinical trial evaluates the safety and efficacy of two treatment protocols for treating young kittens with ringworm, utilizing oral itraconazole and focal topical therapy.
Exploring how genetic differences affect canine heart disease – This study investigates the effect of genetic variation on an important endocrine system involved in heart disease, the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. The information gained from this study will help develop a more individualized approach to medical therapy for dogs with myxomatous mitral valve degeneration.