Metro startup company could change the way pets with diabetes li - KCTV5 News

Metro startup company could change the way pets with diabetes live

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One startup company in the Kansas City metro conducting groundbreaking research could change the way pets live with diabetes. One startup company in the Kansas City metro conducting groundbreaking research could change the way pets live with diabetes.
Pet organ donation is a newer concept born at Likarda, a Kansas City, KS, a startup company researching a pet diabetes treatment using cells from healthy pancreases. Pet organ donation is a newer concept born at Likarda, a Kansas City, KS, a startup company researching a pet diabetes treatment using cells from healthy pancreases.
KANSAS CITY, KS (KCTV) -

More than 1 million dogs and cats suffer from diabetes, leaving them with tedious daily treatments, much like humans.

One startup company in the Kansas City metro conducting groundbreaking research could change the way pets live with diabetes.

Joan and Fred Schwartz volunteer three to four times a week at Wayside Waifs. They say their dog Champ taught them how to love all pets after him.

"Dr. Pickett came up to us and said, ‘Well, how about if, would you be willing to donate his organ for research?' And we said 'Heh? Excuse me?' I've heard of humans doing it, but never dogs," Fred Schwartz said.

Pet organ donation is a newer concept born at Likarda, a Kansas City, KS, startup company researching a pet diabetes treatment using cells from healthy pancreases, like the one Champ donated. His was one of the first donations Likarda received.

"The traditional way of treating a pet is the same way you treat a human. Daily insulin injections. In a pet it's harder to monitor that - usually you give twice a day, every day, morning and evening at the exact same time," said Likarda Co-Founder Karthik Ramachandran.

By taking the healthy cells, Ramachandran and his team of scientists are working to create a one-time injection treatment for diabetic pets.

"With Likarda's transplant, it's a onetime cell based injection into the bone marrow and within 24 hours the pet does not need insulin anymore," Ramachandran said.

The business created Cheri's Hope, an organ donation network where partners like Wayside Waifs can find families like the Schwartz's looking to leave a lasting legacy for the dogs they love.

"We've told everybody, if you have to put your dog down, as sad as it is, at least you've got a memory. He gave something of himself," Fred Schwartz said.

Likarda hopes the gift they provide will live on in other dogs down the line.

Likarda will be starting clinical trials soon and is a few years out from getting approval for the treatment. Click here to learn more about pet donation and Cheri's Hope.

Copyright 2015 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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