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Vet-Stem is a privately held company that offers veterinarians a service to provide adipose-derived stem cell regenerative medicine therapy for horses and dogs and cats suffering from tendon, ligament and joint injuries. In 2003, it secured the worldwide exclusive license to adipose-derived stem cell technology for veterinary applications from the original patents from the University of Pittsburgh and Duke University.

Vet-Stem works directly with credentialed veterinarians. The veterinarian collects a small adipose (fat) sample from the patient. The sample is shipped priority overnight to the Vet-Stem laboratory in San Diego, Calif. Vet-Stem processes the fat sample and concentrates the regenerative cells. The cells are shipped priority overnight in ready-to-inject syringes back to the veterinarian who injects the animal's own cells directly into the injury site.

Since being founded in 2002, Vet-Stem has worked with hundreds of horse veterinarians to treat more than 3,000 horses with fat-derived stem cells.[1] Horses treated with the regenerative cells for tendon injuries had a 77% return to prior level of performance and 94% of them were sound one year or more after treatment.[2] The therapy has shown a 92% and 72% return to prior level of performance in horses with acute and chronic suspensory ligament injuries respectively.[3] And in horses with joint injuries, the therapy showed a 57% return to prior level of performance.[4]

In late 2007, Vet-Stem announced that the application of the therapy was available to dogs and since that time has worked with veterinarians to treat more than 1,250 cases.[5] A blinded placebo controlled clinical trial report showed that 80% of dogs studied improved.[6]

Vet-Stem is currently conducting studies for the use of the stem and regenerative cell therapy for internal conditions as well.



Oct.: Vet-Stem founded.

Oct.: Vet-Stem signs worldwide exclusive license to adipose-derived stem cell technology for veterinary applications[7].

Jan: First stem cell treatment in a horse.[8]

Jan.: Introduced the first veterinary stem cell service in the United States.

Oct.: Vet-Stem secures exclusive worldwide veterinary rights for equine umbilical cord stem cell technology from Kansas State University.

Nov.: Vet-Stem, Inc. and Cognate Therapeutics signed an agreement for the further development of stem cell therapy for use in veterinary medicine. The initial scope of the agreement focused on current and future applications in equine therapy.

July: Vet-Stem's first stem cell treatment in a dog.

April: • Vet-Stem provides regenerative cell services for 1,000 animals.[9]
• Vet-Stem's first stem cell treatment in a cat.

Sept.: Vet-Stem secures additional exclusive worldwide veterinary rights from the University of California for fat-derived stem cells[10].

Nov.: Vet-Stem grand opening of new laboratories in Poway, Calif., with expansion to over three times its prior laboratory space.

May: • Vet-Stem secures exclusive worldwide rights to the Emcyte Genesis blood platelet concentrating system (Platelet Rich Plasma, PRP) for providing growth factor therapy in animals.
• Vet-Stem conducts first formal small animal introductory and orthopedic credentialing course for board certified veterinary surgeons at a workshop in San Diego, CA.

June: Vet-Stem signs worldwide exclusive distribution agreement with Tissue Genesis for their “in clinic” patient-side adipose stem cell processing system.[11] This may someday allow the Vet-Stem process to be accomplished in the veterinary clinic while a patient is being examined or in surgery.

Aug.: Company announces application of VSRC treatment as available for canines with select veterinarians in California, Colorado Springs, Colo., Denver, and Chicago.[12]

Sept: Vet-Stem signs exclusive license to Central Veterinary Research Labs of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. This gives the CVRL the rights to provide fat-derived stem and regenerative cells to veterinarians throughout the Middle East region.[11]

Dec.: First Peer Reviewed Double-Blinded Multicenter Study Published for Canine Osteoarthritis using Regenerative and Stem Cells.[13]

Jan.: Small animal introductory and orthopedic online training launched on East Coast at North American Veterinary Conference in Orlando, Fla.[5]

Feb.: Small animal introductory and orthopedic online training launched on West Coast at Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas.[5]

April: Greg's Gold runs for ninth time since his stem cell treatment, beating two other Grade I winners and pushing his earnings to $1,067,923.

July: Cornell researchers publish equine stem cell paper titled "Effect of adipose-derived nucleated cell fraction on tendon repair in horses with collagenase-induced tendonitis" in The American Journal of Veterinary Research.[14]

Sept: "Effect of Intraarticular Injection of Autologous Adipose-Derived Mesenchymal Stem and Regenerative Cells on Clinical Signs of Chronic Osteoarthritis of the Elbow in Dogs" published in peer reviewed journal Veterinary Therapeutics.[15]

Oct: 3,000 horses have been commercially treated by Vet-Stem clients.

Dec: After being treated with stem cells in January 2008, Little Bit of Baja comes back to set a new track record at Los Alamitos after running in the Z. Wayne Griffin Directors Trials.

April: 1,500 dogs have been commercially treated by Vet-Stem credentialed veterinarians.


Stem and regenerative cells are isolated from a small sample of the animal's own fat and delivered back to the veterinarian within 48 hours.

The fat collection happens by a Vet-Stem-authorized veterinarian, who collects fat and overnights the sample to the Vet-Stem laboratory in Poway, Calif. Then Vet-Stem trained technicians isolate regenerative and stem cells from the fat sample. Vet-Stem then overnights the syringes back to veterinarian, who injects the animal's own cells back into the injury site.[16]


Vet-Stem works with credentialed veterinarians to apply the stem cell therapy to tendon injuries including acute and chronic; ligament injuries, include suspensory, check, collateral ligaments both acute and chronic; and joint injuries including osteoarthritis and osteochondral defects.

Vet-Stem also provides storage of stem and regenerative cells for future use. After the collection and processing described above, remaining doses may be banked if the sample yielded enough stem cells. This service is a preservation process that prepares the animal's stem cells for long-term storage in liquid nitrogen. These cells may be used for additional treatments of an existing injury, or they may be stored for a possible need in the future.[17]


  1. Guthrie, Margaret. "Win, Place or Show. Can a company harness stem cells to treat injured horses?" The Scientist. January, 2008. Volume 22 | Issue 6 | Page 75 [1]
  2. Harman R, Cowles B, Orava C, et al. A retrospective review of 66 cases of tendon injury in the equine treated with adipose derived stem and regenerative cell therapy. Vet Stem internal data, 2006.
  3. Harman R, Cowles B, Orava C., et al. A retrospective review of 52 cases of suspensory ligament injury in sport horses treated with adipose-derived stem and regenerative cell therapy. Presented at the Veterinary Orthopedic Society Convention Mar 3-10, 2007 in Sun Valley, ID.
  4. Harman R, Cowles B, Orava C, et al. A retrospective review of 60 cases of joint injury in sport horses treated with adipose derived stem and regenerative cell therapy. Vet Stem internal data, 2006.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Peters, Sharon. "Stem cell therapy offers hope for pets dogged by pain." USA Today. February 12, 2008 [2]
  6. Black LL, Gaynor J, Gahring, et al: Effect of adipose-derived mesenchymal stem and regenerative cells on lameness in dogs with chronic osteoarthritis of the coxofemoral joints: A randomized, double-blinded, multicenter, controlled trial. Vet Ther 8(4): 272–284, 2007.
  7. Veterinary Regenerative Medicine | Events Calendar | Human Stem Cells | Vet Horse Dog Cat:, October 11, 2006 [3]
  8. "1-Year-Old Warmblood Filly Shoulder Osteochondrosis Dissecans" Vet-Stem Case Study. October 22, 2004 [4]
  9. Weeks, Katie. "VetStem’s Growth: Clients Say ‘Wow,’ Researchers Raise Doubt" San Diego Business Journal August 21, 2006.[5]
  10. Reno, Jamie."Help for Hounds." Newsweek.com. September 13, 2007
  11. 11.0 11.1 http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=27956081
  12. http://www.vet-stem.com/news/news_detail.php?id=1
  13. Black et al, Veterinary Therapeutics, 8 (4), 2007
  14. Nixon A, Dahlgren L, Haupt, J, Yeager A, Ward D, American Journal of Veterinary Research, Vol 69, No. 7, July 2008
  15. Black L, Gaynor J, Adams C, et al., Veterinary Therapeutics, 9 (3) 2008
  16. Goldberg, Keith. "Stem cell therapy for dogs (full version)." Recordonline.comMay 10, 2008.[6]
  17. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRMQCgHE0iI


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