Meet Gallant! You may have seen them on the show Shark Tank! They’re a company committed to helping our dogs live happier and healthier lives by banking and researching stem cells.
No puppies are harmed when the stem cells are obtained. Vets can acquire stem cells from puppies during the normal spay and neuter process. They can come from your own puppy to use for treatments as your dog grows into adulthood.
They’re healthy puppy cells, and these cells, usually discarded after dogs go through the spaying or neutering surgery, can also be very valuable with pet ailments. They have the ability to develop into many different types of cells–from muscle to brain cells–and in some cases, they can also repair damaged cells.
I got a chance to meet Team Gallant to learn more about how cutting edge stem cell research and treatments can help improve our dogs’ health. Founder and CEO Aaron Hirschhorn and President and Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Linda Black, DVM, PhD answered some questions that I had about their incredible work.
JULIA: How long has a stem cell bank for dogs been in the works? Who will benefit from it the most?
TEAM GALLANT: Gallant has been in development for nearly two years. We have recruited the leading scientists in the regenerative medicine field, who have 100 years of collective experience, and we’re investing heavily in R&D to create therapies for ailments like osteoarthritis, atopic dermatitis, torn ligaments, and chronic dry eye.
We also recently acquired the veterinary division of Cook-Regentec, which has successfully treated pets through regenerative medicine.
JULIA: Can these stem cells only come from puppies?
TEAM GALLANT: At the moment, yes. With the acquisition of the veterinary division of Cook-Regentec, we have research on ways to extract stem cells non-invasively at later stages of a dog’s life through a skin biopsy or from their teeth. However, we still recommend banking the stem cells during your dog’s spay or neuter, since that is when stem cells are the most abundant.
We lose 99 percent of our stem cells over the course of our lifetime.
JULIA: This sounds like some amazing technology. What does the process of your research entail? Can veterinarians from anywhere contribute to or benefit from your work? How can they get involved?
TEAM GALLANT: Gallant has a world class FDA compliant laboratory in San Diego where we work on developing cell therapies from reproductive tissue derived stem cells using the latest technologies and equipment. We work with the FDA’s Veterinary Innovation Program in our development plan.
Veterinarians nationwide can benefit from our service in a few ways. Vets are seeing a huge decline in spay and neuters because of the lower cost of spay and neuters at alternative clinics. Gallant will be able to bring business back to these vet clinics because this is an added pet health benefit that vets can provide.
Any vet can bank stem cells with Gallant: they simply take the reproductive tissue that is normally thrown away and package it in Gallant’s kit. They then send it to our lab for the cells to be isolated and cryopreserved for later use. Gallant also offers a procedure fee for every spay or neuter.
We have a special vet liaison team, where we work directly with the doctors to ensure they have Gallant’s full support. We believe that Gallant and stem cell banking will be a standard procedure for every puppy in the future.
JULIA: What are the typical costs for dog owners who rely on treatments from stem cells? Have the costs come down as Gallant does more research?
TEAM GALLANT: Currently, the cost to harvest stem cells and administer stem cell therapy is around $3-4k, which we know is unaffordable to the average consumer. By collecting during the spay and neuter procedure, we are able to dramatically reduce costs for our pet parents and make our service more accessible.
The procedure and courier fee costs $395, and our banking costs just $95/year (around $8/month) or a lifetime fee of $595. For a limited time only, in order to bring regenerative medicine to as many pet parents as possible, we are waiving the procedure fee and saving new pet owners $395.
JULIA: Do you have any examples of pets who have benefited from your research or treatments?
TEAM GALLANT: We have seen firsthand what our treatments can do.
The veterinary division of Cook-Regentec has a decade of experience researching and treating hundreds of animals with regenerative therapies, including Zoe, a seven-year old Border Collie who hurt her spine while playing Frisbee. After undergoing stem cell treatment, she is now at 95 percent her normal self, running and playing pain-free without medication.
JULIA: What do you see for the future of stem cell technology and treatments?
CEO AARON HIRSCHORN: I see a bright future in stem cell technology and am a big believer in it. For years, I struggled with debilitating chronic back pain, which left me incapable of doing activities I loved.
After researching and going through multiple treatments–including surgery and even attempting to burn a nerve–I discovered regenerative medicine. I went through a same-day procedure approved by the FDA, and it changed my life.
Unlike traditional medicine, which can cause painful, life-altering side effects and merely mitigates symptoms, stem cell therapy is natural, is shown to address the cause of illness, and has no side effects for your pet.
JULIA: Wow that is an incredible story. I see why you feel so personally invested and passionate about stem cell therapy!
For pet parents who are always searching for alternative ways to help our pets with everything, from treating them for osteoarthritis to coping with injuries, this sounds pretty awesome! I’m looking forward to reading more stories about how stem cell therapy is helping dogs in the future.
If you’re a pet parent interested in preserving your dog’s stem cells, then you can check out Gallant’s stem cell banking plans here!
If you’d like to learn more about how banking your dog’s stem cells can benefit your dog, then you should take a look at more information from Gallant here!
What are your thoughts on stem cell therapy for dogs? Do you think further stem cell research can improve the way we treat canine conditions? Then please share your thoughts in the comments below!