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  • This project was expired on 2014-06-28

About our project

Cassie: Developing a life saving treatment for anemia in cats and dogs

Two years ago, our cat Cassie developed anemia due to Chronic Kidney Disease. It was a tragic moment when Cassie died and the only treatment option was for medicine designed for humans. Sadly, Cassie died of a fatal autoimmune response to the medicine, as do many of the cats and dogs in similar circumstances.

At Transformation Research, we are developing a safe anemia medication to treat cats and dogs to prolong their lives and your love. We are finding a way and want you, our backers to be part of finding the solution.

Our Cassie

Developing New Treatments for Our Beloved Animals

Over 1 million cats and dogs each year will become anemic due to Chronic Kidney Disease. Current treatment involves giving pets a human version of a red blood cell-producing hormone, which has a 20%-50% chance of triggering a fatal autoimmune reaction, just like Cassie’s. This reaction produces antibodies that attack the human hormone and also the animal’s own red blood cell-producing hormone, shutting down all red blood cell production and killing the animal by starving its tissues for oxygen.

Because there is no medication designed specifically for companion animals, pet owners are faced with a choice between two poor options: leaving debilitating anemia un-treated, or providing relief from anemia with a chance of a fatal side-effect. We do not want any pet and pet owner to go through the painful experience that happened with our Cassie.

Finding a Better Way Through Research

We are determined to find a better way. Our team is composed of expert scientists who have invented and utilized advanced technology to scan literally billions of different molecules and used that technology to discover a novel medicine that functions like the human red blood cell-producing hormone, and treats anemia in humans. The drug they invented was FDA approved for use in humans, but does not work in cats and dogs.

We will use similar technology to create one specifically designed therapeutic that treats the unique physiology of animals. This new medicine will represent the first, and only, treatment for anemia in cats and dogs that is effective and safe, and so will prolong the lives of cherished pets.

Dr. Pete Working Hard in the Lab

The Next Steps

Our team has been working hard on the project and our passion will drive us to keep searching.

  1. The next step of the process is to identify a small number of candidate molecule
  2. The candidate molecules will subsequently be narrowed down to obtain the final medicine.

We are already on our way with researching and testing the molecules, and we estimate the next steps will cost $500,000 and take 9 months. Through Medstartr, we need your support to make this happen. When we complete this first step, it will make it easier for us to raise the additional funding and establish the partnerships needed to complete development, gain FDA approval, and deliver our new medicine to pets in need. While the final to market process is a few years away, our campaign is the next big step to saving our cats and dogs lives.

How We Will Use Your Contributions

We have access to a research laboratory which already has the equipment needed to conduct the first step of our medicine development program. Your contributions will help cover the cost of using the facility, buying reagents and supplies, and paying for the research. We will initially hire three scientists to carry on the work under Pete and Tom’s supervision, with more hiring as success brings the need for additional skill sets.

How to Find Us


The Transformation Research Team

Tom Gerbe, CEO, co-founder – Founded and operated a number of businesses in regulated industries. He brings over twenty years of experience working with the Government to this project. He has an established relationship with the FDA; extensive business development, web design and marketing experience.

Pete Schatz, Ph.D., CSO, co-founder – Has 22+ years of drug discovery & development experience in biotech and large pharma environments from early drug discovery through to Phase 3 clinical trials and successful regulatory filings with FDA. Pete is co-inventor on 30 issued US patents and co-author of over 45 scientific publications. He most recently was Senior Director of Biology at Affymax, Inc. where he helped invent, develop, obtain FDA approval, and commercialize OMONTYS®, a treatment for anemia in humans.

Nicole Gerbe, DVM, Veterinarian, co-founder – President-elect of the Long Island Veterinary Association; alumni of Cornell Veterinary School; treated many animals for Chronic Kidney Disease and anemia. Nicole has contacts at a number of universities that will be conducting clinical trials and providing veterinary expertise during the development of the new drug.

Erik Whitehorn, Molecular Biologist – With 35+ years of experience, Erik has developed and applied multiple drug discovery technologies for the Biotech Industry including methods for heterologous gene expression, cell-based signal transduction assays, biochemical assays, and peptide display. Erik has carried out several successful drug discovery programs including the discovery of erythropoietin receptor agonists at Affymax, Inc. Other active molecules have been discovered for Avidia (acquired by Amgen, Inc.) and Catalyst Biosciences.

About Transformation Research

Transformation Research, LLC was established in 2011 with the mission of creating a safe alternative to using risky human based medication to treat anemia in cats and dogs. The company is based out of New York with research facilities in Menlo Park, California. The San Fransisco Bay area is known for providing the perfect environment for this type of development including a variety of contract labs and talented people. Our scientific team specializes in the development of this type of drug and are experts at their craft. After development, we intend to obtain FDA approval for the drugs use in cats and dogs and bring the product to market through a partnership with a pharmaceutical company that specializes in animal medicine.


For $ 1 or more

0 Supporter(s)

*ALL* donations will go directly to medical research. You will receive a thank you on our website and social media! All donations at all levels are tax deductible through the American Veterinary Medical Association!

For $ 20 or more

0 Supporter(s)

ALL of the above AND a CassiePets car decal to show your support.

For $ 500 or more

0 Supporter(s)

You will receive a special mention on social media! Send us a picture of your pet (or you) and we will post it on our Facebook along with a thank you from our team.

For $ 1000 or more

0 Supporter(s)

Thank you for your generous support! Our team will send you a personalized thank you letter, publish your pets picture on our Facebook page, and receive personal updates on our progress.

For $ 20000 or more

0 Supporter(s) Limited (3 left of 3 )

As a Gold Sponsor, your name or organization will be placed on our website, AND all of the above rewards for you and your organization.

For $ 300000 or more

0 Supporter(s) Limited (1 left of 1 )

As a Platnium Sponsor, all media and outreach efforts will name you or your organization as founding supporter of our research in perpetuity and permanent placement on our website AND all of the above rewards for you and your organization. Thank you for helping to make anemia treatment for our loved pets a reality.

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