Accelerating medical discovery. Advancing animal care.

What We Do

CASTR: Companion Animal Studies for Translational Research

At CASTR Alliance, our mission is to facilitate the discovery of novel ways to treat disease in human and veterinary patients. As clinical researchers, our work streamlines device and therapeutic development for animal and human patients alike, with the goal of bringing important solutions to market sooner. We connect biomedical discovery with veterinarians and their patients while providing turnkey management of sponsored veterinary studies.

Through our relationships with state-of-the-art veterinary specialty and referral hospitals in the Pacific Northwest and beyond, we link companion animals in need of innovative medicines with novel therapeutic options that may otherwise be unavailable to them.

dog with decorations
dog at the beach
When taking care of our pets also means advancing human healthcare, everyone wins. That's the benefit of translational research.

Setting the Standard in Clinical Trials

Clinical studies in companion animal patients - our pets - can be conducted with greater speed and efficiency, and often at a fraction of the cost of human clinical trials. CASTR provides a solution for those companies challenged by the traditionally expensive and inefficient drug development process. We offer expertise in conducting companion animal clinical studies and access to a network of veterinary specialists and clinics that can reach precisely those animals that can both benefit from and provide insight into new treatments.

CASTR was specifically founded to provide standardized study execution that meets or exceeds the requirements of both biopharmaceutical companies and regulatory agencies. Our studies abide by the Good Clinical Practice (GCP) standards for veterinary studies and are designed and conducted to ensure the rights, safety, and well-being of all patients.

dog in bed
DNA helix
Who We Work With

As a clinical research organization, or CRO, we strive to reduce costs and accelerate timelines for biomedical and pharmaceutical companies developing new medicines, devices, and therapies for humans and animals.

With CASTR Alliance, companies or organizations seeking to evaluate the efficacy of a new drug product or device benefit from high-quality data that can be used to determine feasibility and direct further research.

While lab-based research often relies upon the artificial induction of disease, our research focuses on spontaneous diseases - those that arise naturally in our dogs and cats. By treating animals who are already afflicted or symptomatic, we're able to provide direct benefits to our pets, while assessing the potential of a drug for use in other animals or humans.

When you enroll your animal in a clinical trial, you not only provide a potential service to your pet, you take part in helping accelerate discovery and innovation in veterinary care and human medicine.

Solutions

Our relationships with state-of-the-art specialty veterinarian practices are core to our work.

Our extensive network provides our clients with access to:
  • Board-certified veterinarians from all specialties, including surgery, oncology, radiation oncology, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, radiology, pathology, ophthalmology, sports medicine, rehabilitation, and more.
  • A large population of canine and feline patients in the Northwestern United States.
  • Motivated pet owners with high compliance rates with study treatment protocols.
Owned and run by veterinary clinician-scientists
Broad range of clinical research services
Large network of specialty practices

Clinical Research Services

  • Strategic Consulting
  • Protocol Development
  • Streamlined Study-Start-Up & Site Training
  • Patient Recruitment
  • Project Management
  • Patient Compliance & Site Engagement
  • Monitoring & Site Management
  • Pharmacovigilance
researcher with microscope
Benefits

The Advantages of Companion Animal Studies

Studies with companion animals provide a vast array of benefits that differentiate them from human trials.
  • A shorter natural lifespan means our dogs and cats progress faster through stages of disease, accelerating study timelines.
  • A higher incidence in dogs of some diseases (e.g. osteosarcoma, lymphoma, or soft tissue sarcoma) that are rare in humans allow studies to enroll and be completed faster.
  • Unlike lab animals, companion animals live in the same environment as people and may, like people, have other concomitant diseases.
  • Often, lack of standard of care treatments makes it possible to utilize novel therapies in veterinary patients much earlier in the disease process than most human trials.
  • An intact immune system provides an ideal background for the study of immunotherapies, tumor microenvironment, and the microbiome.
  • Spontaneous diseases in companion animals simulate human diseases much more closely than do diseases induced in laboratory animals, often sharing similar etiologies, progressions, pathobiologies, and molecular changes.
  • Breed predispositions to disease provide a means of identifying underlying mutations and treatable targets that may otherwise be difficult to study in humans.
Results

What to Expect

Result 1

Contracting companies can expect all studies to be managed efficiently and compassionately, and result in high quality data. We deliver progress updates on trial status, study management, and site monitoring, and provide results and analysis on demand, and at the conclusion of the trial.

Result 2

At the outset, we train participating veterinary clinicians on the trial protocol to ensure treatment is conducted according to our rigorous standards, then we continue to provide ongoing guidance to these clinicians throughout the entire course of the study.

Result 3

As a pet owner, you'll work directly through your veterinary care provider or specialist, who will administer treatment according to the protocol.

Team
CASTR Alliance was founded by veterinary clinician-scientists Jessica Bertout and Jim Perry. As scientists, they have broad experience designing, managing, and conducting clinical trials that meet the stringent requirements of the biotech industry. Importantly, as dedicated pet owners and veterinarians, they’re personally invested in providing the best possible care to our animal companions. Together, Drs. Bertout and Perry created CASTR Alliance to leverage their expertise and advance medicine for humans and animals alike.
Jessica Bertout

Jessica Bertout

VMD, PhD

Cancer biologist and veterinarian Jessica Bertout completed her undergraduate degree in biology at Yale, her VMD and PhD in Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, and postdoctoral studies in cancer biology at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Dr. Bertout went on to manage multi-site clinical trials in both canine and human patients for Seattle-based biotech company Presage Biosciences before co-founding CASTR Alliance. Dr. Bertout has more than 15 years of experience in cancer biology and a passion for clinical research.

Jim Perry

Jim Perry

DVM, PhD

Veterinary oncologist and surgeon Jim Perry earned his undergraduate degree at the University of Washington. He completed his DVM and PhD in Immunology, postdoctoral studies and medical oncology residency at Colorado State University, and his surgical residency at Aspen Meadow Veterinary Specialists in Longmont, Colorado. Dr. Perry is board-certified both in medical oncology and in small animal surgery. In addition to his role at CASTR Alliance, Inc., he continues to see patients as a surgical oncologist at Veterinary Cancer and Surgery Specialists near Portland, Oregon.

Laurel Yruretagoyena

Laurel Yruretagoyena

LVT, BSc Biology

Biologist and Licensed Veterinary Technician Laurel Yruretagoyena completed the veterinary technology program at Pierce College and a bachelor's degree in biology at the University of Washington. Laurel has 13 years of experience in clinical practice and 3 years as a research associate in marine mammal biology. She went on to pursue her passion for biomedical research by completing formal training as a clinical research associate and combines her knowledge in both veterinary medicine and clinical trials towards her long term goal of helping animals while advancing the medical field.

Get In Touch

Contact CASTR Alliance

Contact us for more information about our clinical research services.

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