Mars Petcare recently announced an unprecedented scientific initiative designed to improve understanding of pet health and disease.
According to a press release, the MARS PETCARE BIOBANKTM aims to be the largest, most comprehensive real-world study of its kind, recruiting 20,000 pets (10,000 dogs and 10,000 cats) across the United States over 10 years.
Key goals: Early diagnosis and preventive health:
The biobank study will generate data to gain insights about pets that are healthy as they age and pets that develop diseases. By enrolling their pets in the study, pet owners will help enable new scientific discoveries to improve pet health for generations to come.
Today, pets are generally diagnosed and treated when disease is already present. The MARS PETCARE BIOBANK data aims to help scientists identify associations of early disease detection. As part of the biobank analysis, scientists will study biological samples, pet health trends, genetic and behavior data over the next 10 years to identify early signs of potential disease and uncover new ways to support healthy development and aging, disease prediction and prevention, individualized nutrition, and health monitoring.
The biobank is part of a long-standing commitment to investing in innovation, science, and technology. The company has a history in driving pet health innovation through the Waltham Petcare Science Institute, which has focused on pet health for over 50 years; and through Mars Veterinary Health, a network of 2,500 veterinary clinics and diagnostic labs across more than 20 countries.
Dogs lead the way
The study is now recruiting healthy dogs (older than six months and younger than 10 years old) already visiting select VCA Animal Hospitals™ and BANFIELD™ Pet Hospital locations. The study will begin recruiting cats later this year.
Veterinary teams at participating Banfield and VCA hospitals will see pets for annual health checks and collect samples, such as fecal and blood. Once collected, samples will be analyzed by technicians at Antech Diagnostics and stored for future analysis by scientists at the Waltham Petcare Science Institute.
Pet owners who enroll their eligible pets will receive an e-gift card after the first clinic visit and free annual routine veterinary check-ups, have annual blood samples reported via their veterinary teams, and receive a WHISTLE™ Fit activity monitor for dogs and a WISDOM PANEL™ DNA test kit for cats and dogs.
For more information about the MARS PETCARE BIOBANK and to apply to participate, visit marspetcarebiobank.com.