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Clinical Trials

Clinical research is an important component of increasing medical knowledge, advancing veterinary practice, and improving animal health. The College of Veterinary Medicine routinely conducts clinical trials as a component of that research. Our studies are open to patients of the Veterinary Hospital and beyond. We are continually taking applications for upcoming trials. Click on the links below to browse trials by species or service.

If you are a veterinarian or owner with an animal diagnosed with a condition being researched and are interested in enrolling them in the trial, contact the department or lab associated with the research to see if your animal qualifies.

Many of the clinical trials underway at the College of Veterinary Medicine are facilitated by the Clinical Studies Core, (CSC). The CSC supports interactions between clinical and basic research groups within North Carolina State University and expands collaborative relationships beyond the university with practicing veterinarians, animal owners, and industry partners. For more information on their services, or to find out how they can facilitate your proposed clinical research, please visit their overview page. 

Critical Investigations

Researchers in the NC State College of Veterinary Medicine conduct trials in many service areas. Research ranges from the study of cardiac and neurological issues in animals, and the causes of cancers in dogs, cats, and horses, to the management of chronic pain, dermatological ailments, musculoskeletal symptoms and degeneration, as well as behavioral challenges and nutritional factors in disease. Click on the boxes below to browse through current trials by service area.

What You Need to Know About Clinical Trials

What is a clinical trial?

Clinical studies are biomedical or health-related investigations in animals or human beings that attempt to answer a question in a systematic way. As such, they often are used to evaluate risk factors for disease, as well as methods to prevent, treat or cure disease. A clinical trial is one type of clinical study that involves testing the effects of a new or existing treatment (drug, medical device, behavioral change etc) on an illness or disorder or a new diagnostic test to help develop early diagnostics or prognostic information.

Why are clinical trials important?

Extensive laboratory research precedes the initiation of a clinical trial. The treatment or diagnostic test in question will have been evaluated in a laboratory setting and promising results obtained that support its further evaluation in a clinical trial. As laboratory investigations cannot accurately predict how an individual with naturally occurring disease will respond to the treatment, a clinical trial must be performed to identify how safe and effective a treatment is for its intended use. Many clinical trials in the veterinary field involve treatments that have already been proven safe and effective in humans with similar disease. However, since animals differ from humans in many ways – including how they may respond to specific treatment – veterinary based clinical trials are needed to determine the most appropriate treatment for our pets.

What are the benefits of participating in a clinical trial?

Participation in a clinical trial allows the patient to gain access to new research before it is widely available as well as obtain expert veterinary medical care during the trial. In addition, there may be financial incentives for enrolling in a clinical trial, including free veterinary care, testing and treatment. Participants in clinical trials are also helping others by contributing to the advancement of medical research.

Are there risks involved in participating in a clinical trial?

The experimental treatment may not be effective for the participant, and may be associated with side effects. In addition, participation in a clinical trial may involve multiple visits to the study site for treatment and follow-up; more so than if the patient were not involved in a clinical trial. The specific requirements of each study as well as potential study associated risks are detailed in the Informed Consent document. This document must be signed prior to participation in a clinical trial. However, informed consent is not a contract, and the participant may withdraw from the trial at any time. To help ensure the safety of study participants, all clinical trials performed at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital must be approved by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) at North Carolina State University.

Am I compensated for participating in a trial?

Information here about financial, and other, incentives for participating in a trial.

Where does financial support come from?

The College’s research activities are supported by a variety of means. The state of North Carolina provides base support for the research programs, but most research activity is funded through competitive grants from national agencies such as the Morris Animal Foundation, Winn Feline Foundation, Grayson Jockey Fund and the National Institutes of Health as well as through grants, contracts or memoranda of agreement with private companies, foundations and other agencies.