Entrepreneurs look to solve problems.  Needs spark ideas, ideas spark innovation, and innovation births new companies. We founded ELIAS Animal Health to transform cancer treatment for pets by bring the state-of-the-art therapeutics benefiting humans into the animal world.

Chemotherapy has been the standard of care treatment for dogs with cancer for decades. Until recently, it was often the only option available. Chemo kills cancer cells but because it’s so powerful, it damages surrounding healthy cells and ravages the body.

Our goal was to find an alternative way to treat canine cancer, one that is effective and less taxing on our canine counterparts. Millions and millions of dollars fund human cancer research and treatment, but our pets traditionally haven’t benefited from it the same way that people have. At ELIAS, we collaborate with our peers in human health to apply the advancements in immunotherapy to animals. Our goal is to bring viable treatment options to the pet market, so animals can benefit as well as humans.

The immune system is, perhaps, our best tool to cure some forms of cancer.  The ELIAS cancer immunotherapy (ECI®) is a groundbreaking therapy that empowers the patient’s immune system, combined with an infusion of customized, blood-derived T cells that have been functionally empowered and numerically expanded to recognize and destroy cancer cells, to kill cancer cells.

Early studies show promise: “Median Survival Time for dogs participating in the ECI-OSA-1 osteosarcoma trial was 415 days. It was further noted that this median survival time exceeded those typically reported for those patients receiving amputation plus chemotherapy. The promise of improved survival rates and prolonged life for cancer patients is being revealed in the data.”

Our entrepreneurial journey has been challenging and rewarding, difficult and celebratory.  We’ve made tremendous strides in treating canine cancer without chemotherapy.  In a recent sponsored article, Clinician’s Brief spotlighted the exciting advances we’ve made toward treating canine cancer.  Immunotherapy gives us a greater chance to potentially cure it by teaching the immune system how to fight it off.

We continue to innovate as we explore new, cutting-edge treatment options.  We now license three immunotherapy treatments, which continue to be tested and developed into canine cancer therapies.  Our entrepreneurial journey started with a theory, developed into trials, and will, we hope, soon be an approved treatment.

Next week, we discuss the critical roles of the canine care team in treating cancer.