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Exchanging Memorandum of Understanding Between UPM and NUS Paves the Way for Revolutionary Companion Animal Cancer Treatment

Serdang, October 27, 2023 - Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) are embarking on a strategic collaboration that promises to revolutionize the field of anti-cancer therapy. This partnership in brings together two distinguished research teams from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, UPM and Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS to evaluate stem cell therapy for pet dogs and cats with naturally occurring cancers which are good models for comparative oncology.

The collaboration was marked by the exchanging ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Friday, 27th of October 2023, at the Canselori Putra Building in UPM, a momentous occasion attended by the Vice Chancellor of UPM, Dato’ Professor Dr. Ahmad Farhan Mohd Sadullah, representatives from NUS, Assoc. Prof. Too Heng Phon and Dr Sarah Ho Yoon Khei, along with several distinguished guests, including the Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Prof. Dato’ Dr. Mohd Azmi Mohd Lila, the Deputy Dean (Research and Postgraduate Studies) of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Prof. Dr. Md. Zuki Abu Bakar@Zakaria, the Head of Department for Veterinary Clinical Studies, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ooi Peck Toung and Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gayathri Thevi Selvarajah.

The core of this transformative partnership is the refinement of the therapy development and initiation of a clinical trial that focuses on deploying genetically engineered mesenchymal stem cell-based therapy to combat end-stage tumours in companion animals. Cats and dogs with specific types of cancer will soon be recruited into clinical trials through the University Veterinary Hospital of UPM. Associate Professor Dr. Gayathri Thevi Selvarajah, a veterinary oncology specialist will lead the research and clinical trials with the assistance from a research team including surgeons, clinicians, medical laboratory technologists, and pathologist who will work collectively to deliver and manage this innovative therapy for dogs and cats. The goal of this collaboration is to enhance the quality of life and extend the survival of pet cats and dogs diagnosed with selected types of cancer.

The UPM-NUS partnership is not only poised to transform veterinary medicine but also showcases the power of cross-border collaborations in the pursuit of scientific advancements. As research and development progress, it is anticipated that this novel therapy will soon become standard practice, providing newfound hope to countless pets afflicted with cancer and potentially influencing future treatments for humans.

The MoU exchange ceremony was then accompanied by a thought-provoking talk on 'Engineered Stem Cell Therapy in Cancer.' The event was organized by the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and the UPM-MAKNA Cancer Research Laboratory of the Institute Bioscience. The insightful discussions featured two distinguished speakers: Assoc. Prof. Dr. Too Heng Phon, who presented 'From Bench to Bedsides to Business,' and Dr. Sarah Ho Yoon Khei, who discussed 'Unlocking the Potential: Engineered Stem Cell Therapy and Companion Animal Cancer – A Hopeful Journey.' The session was expertly moderated by Assoc. Prof. Dr. Gayathri Thevi Selvarajah.

This program saw a diverse gathering of participants from various backgrounds and fields, emphasizing the significant impact and wide-ranging interest in the potential transformation of companion animal cancer treatment. It was notably ended on a positive note.

Tarikh Input: 03/11/2023 | Kemaskini: 03/11/2023 | m_nazmi


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