NECC1200: Equine Clinical Studies
Statement of Issues and JustificationEquine clinical research is limited by the expense of the horse as an experimental animal. Equine studies frequently involve small groups of horses, larger numbers exceeding the resources of many investigators. In addition, large epidemiological and clinical studies in horse populations are not easily performed because of logistics. Nevertheless, large studies in horses have generated valuable information, and are among the more reliable in the clinical literature. The greater power of large studies directly benefits horses by improving diagnosis and therapy.
The North Eastern United States is home to a strong equine industry, supported by equine research programs in veterinary colleges, and the animal and/or veterinary science departments of public universities. Increased collaboration and pooling of resources between basic scientists, teaching hospital clinicians, private industry, practicing veterinarians and their clients could be used to strengthen equine research by making possible larger clinical studies. In addition, it could assist product development by the animal biotechnology sector. However, such collaborative studies pose significant logistical and scientific difficulties.
Through the formation of a Coordinating Committee on Equine Clinical Studies, under the guidelines of the USDA Multistate Research Activities program, we wish to facilitate and encourage collaborative equine clinical studies in the North East. We would specifically seek to address the difficulties of pooling animal resources in early phase clinical trials, and the design of later phase clinical trials involving multiple institutions and multiple states. It is hoped that multistate projects, with research objectives specific to equine diseases prevalent in the North East, and associated commercial products, would result from the committee's work.
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