In this episode, Chad sits down with Jeff Sutherland, founder and CEO of Canine Biologics. With over 500,000 dogs in the US and Canada diagnosed with cancer each year, Jeff’s company addresses nutritional needs for dogs to fight terminal diseases based on tumor type. They discuss how Jeff started off as pre-med in college before shifting his focus to marketing, then to dental technology, and finally to IT with a master’s in Artificial Intelligence before realizing his true passion…the health of dogs. Jeff shares how he was able to fulfill a dream of living in New Zealand thanks to an IT skill shortage at the time and how his dog inspired him to make the career change of creating restaurant-quality dog food with the proper nutrients that dogs need, and how an oncology vet inspired him to take a leap to create Canine Biologics. They end with a chat about travel bucket lists including the lakes region in Italy near Switzerland, Patagonia in South America, New Zealand, and Japan.

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Molecular Moments Episode 10: Jeff Sutherland Discusses Dogs: Canine Nutrition and Oncology Advances: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

Molecular Moments Episode 10: Jeff Sutherland Discusses Dogs: Canine Nutrition and Oncology Advances: this mp4 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Announcer:
Welcome to the Molecular Moments podcast.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
In today's episode, we sat down with our guest, Jeff Sutherland, founder and CEO and canine biologics. Jeff is passionate about dogs, health and the quality of their life. After starting out in it, he spent a significant portion of his career finding ways to improve canine health. As a dog lover myself, I certainly appreciate that value. What I learned from him. I hope you'll enjoy our conversation as much as I did. We were talking science and dogs as dog lovers and scientists do. So without further ado, here's another episode of Molecular Moments. Welcome to the podcast, Jeff, I'm delighted to have you join me today. Can you start with telling us a little bit about your background?

Jeff Sutherland:
Chad, I appreciate it very much. Yes, I'd be happy to. And thanks for having me on. So I've been a dog lover all my life, literally as far back as I can remember. And I'd cross the street to say hello to a dog if I had the chance. It's always been that way. Even though I got nipped when I was five years old, it didn't have any lasting impression. So not a negative one. And having been a dog lover all my life, I've had dogs most of my life and their health and in particularly the last few years, their diet has been increasingly important to me and its effect on their health. After having a company called Disserving Dog, which made restaurant quality food for dogs, then home delivered it. And I saw the remarkable improvement that many dogs had on a diet like that versus the kibble they may have been eating. I kind of refocused my efforts on dogs with cancer. I ran into an oncologist, a veterinarian, and we got to talking about the impact of nutrition on cancer specifically and on canines with cancer. I was at a kind of a tipping point and the other company, whether to grow it or not. And when this idea kind of came to the fore, I decided to pursue it with both barrels, if you will. So from deserving dog was born canine biologics. And that's where we are today.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
You had a career in I.T. somewhere in between your childhood and getting into your current ventures and really pursuing your passion with dogs. So kind of curious what you did in the IT world and then and then how that became your your dog passion. How do you how do you leverage that one into the other?

Jeff Sutherland:
Well, like like most things, it's not the simplest of stories. But I started my my college career as a premed, so I had a lot of the chemistry, physiology, biology kind of background and did better than three years in the program before I decided that Differential Equations was my nemesis and I wasn't going to get through to the the degree I was pursuing. And then maybe med school. I shifted focus at that point and went into a couple of different areas. I did a bachelor's in marketing. I did an associate's degree in dental technology, of all things, and that was my undergrad career. Then after a few years in the professional world, I thought that systems it was maybe the place to to plan a full career. So I did a masters degree with an emphasis on artificial intelligence and kind of jumped in with both feet. In my mid 20s, about twenty five years old is when I got back through grad school and back into a career. For most of the next 30 years, I acted primarily as a consultant in a wide variety of IT roles. I did everything from coding to analysis to network planning, security, business continuity and disaster recovery. You know, various phases, most of that time occasionally being inside organizations, but most of that time as an outside consultant, helping organizations with their IT requirements.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
How did that become the DOD focus? Because you went from there to disserving dog and spent some time in New Zealand, which I wouldn't mind hearing about as well. It sounds like an interesting adventure. Yeah.

Jeff Sutherland:
So around the end of my career, I'd done it for a long time and I was kind of getting it was a good career, very interesting and very rewarding in one regard, but not passion filling, if you will. I got out of bed every day, but I didn't spring out of bed in terms of being in it. Toward the end of that career, I did take a flyer and go to New Zealand for five years. My ex and I had been on vacation there several times and just absolutely fell in love with the place and found that from a career perspective, it was quite easy for Americans to move to New Zealand and pursue a career there. So I decided I would at least fulfill that dream. And I moved down kind of sight unseen, if you will, in terms of I had four job offers within the first ten days and two of them came before I left the U.S., having never met the the firms that were offering me employment. So that was it was very, you know, relatively easy in terms of employment. And the kind people in the New Zealand government even made the transition somewhat easy in that I was in what's called a skills shortage area. And they, you know, like medicine and engineering and a few others, they made it relatively easy for people in it to to spend time there. So I did did five years and it was kind of like, well, I've done what I wanted to do. And came back to the U.S.

Jeff Sutherland:
shortly after returning is when I kind of said, you know, I just don't know if I want to do this anymore. And coincidentally, my dog, who is still alive, she's pushing fifteen years old, was about eight years old at this time. When I came back from New Zealand, she had had lots and lots of GI problems, very, very severe GI problems. And I had tried a multitude of. Quote unquote, premium food, dog food in various forms, and one night she became this is around 2010, 2011, she became so ill I thought I might lose her, got her to the vet in the morning and she didn't do much. And she sold me a bag of Hill's science diet, which turned out not to be what I had hoped it would be. And I turned to the infamous World Wide Web thinking maybe I can do better. So I found what I believed were trusted sources for information, got some recipes, started cooking for her, and she had daily problems for the prior five years or so that I had her. I adopted her when she was little over two and within 24 hours of cooking real food for her, her symptoms cleared up and over 10 years ago now, and they and roughly and they have never come back. She has never suffered any of the GI distress and problems she had when she was on this commercial, if you will, food for dogs or dog food. I call mine food for dogs. But but that was the story there.

Jeff Sutherland:
So she was the inspiration motivated me greatly. And when I saw the effect on her, I thought, hmm, maybe it's time for a career change. And I started the company known at the time as Deserving Dog and was making, again, restaurant quality food. I bought all of my ingredients at a restaurant supply house. The chicken breast I bought would be the same one you might sit down to at a local restaurant. I mean, it was everything was of that quality and found ways to make it complete and balance with all the proper vitamins and minerals and so forth the dogs need. But the effects on my dog and on those that became customers was absolutely remarkable. And owners repeatedly told me about how their the dogs coats improved. In many cases, their behavior got better, something I hadn't expected and a range of health conditions improved. So I thought, well, there really is something to this nutrition thing. My dog was eating better than I am even now, and she still does. But but I saw the effects. And after running that company for a few years, I got to that inflection point of I need to either grow it or, you know, Morphet or something. And Seren Dipti stepped in. I had the conversation with the oncology veterinarian and he kind of inspired me a little bit. And he ended up working on formulations that we we do sell today now. So that was kind of the twisted path to get to canine biologics.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
So, Jeff, a couple of things I'm curious about. First of all, I was curious about what kind of dog you have, but also I'm curious about what that does that day to day food is that you feed your dog. I'm feeling maybe a little guilty for the you know, for the Royal Canin. I mean, it's for my dogs. Well, but I'm thinking maybe I need to change things up a little bit. So what kind of dog and what's the diet that you feed her typically now?

Jeff Sutherland:
So my girl is an almost 15 year old Labrador black Labrador retriever named Shadow. She barks with an accent. I got her when I was living in New Zealand that rescued her, adopted her, I should say. She's been an absolutely phenomenal animal. So the food I feed her now is a mix of a very high end, non kibbled commercial food that is human grade. And my girlfriend, whose dog has some issues, kidney and liver problems, also a very geriatric dog. We also blend in very low phosphorus, low sodium mix of vegetables and rice to kind of round out the diet and bring down the levels of phosphorus and sodium, which are critical in terms of liver and kidney function and helping to maintain that. So we do that and we add a few other magical bits, if you will, golden paste, which is a tumor based item. Tumeric and coconut oil and pepper basically is is the ingredients. And so we try to give them a lot of fruit, vegetables. And I did an awful lot of calculus, if you will, in trying to achieve the levels of protein, phosphorus and sodium that are we believe, helping them and have their blood panels have shown have helped him quite a bit over the last couple of years as they started to run into these problems of the kidney and liver as as many geriatric dogs do.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
So do you kind of make this in a volume for a month or for a week at a time or something like that? I'm trying to figure out how to manage this. I have a Great Dane and a Doberman.

Jeff Sutherland:
So the commercial human grade food obviously is is not a problem. The vegetable mix, which is for vegetables and white rice. And I'll tell you why in a moment that we make about every three days. So we make up enough to last about three days. We could make a larger volume and freeze it, but we don't have much freezer capacity. It would freeze very well and we could make up a much larger volume. But the the mix so it's, you know, a number of vegetables and they're very small. They're about, you know, roughly the size of. A corn kernel or a little bit larger, and we use in addition to the vegetables, we use white rice because it's very low and phosphorus brown rice while being a very good nutritional option and has a lot of fiber, which white rice does not, has higher levels of phosphorus than sodium or phosphorus and potassium that we need to avoid with our dogs. Hence the white rice gives us a little bit of stretch on on the Kabo side.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
So really is making me think so. First, is that formula available kind of what you're doing? I know the canine biologic is really focused on oncology treatment, but is the deserving dog sort of formula still available to people?

Jeff Sutherland:
I'd be happy to give it to you. And maybe we can we can distribute it more widely. I can give you some options, let me put it that way. And yes, I'd be happy to do so. This one was custom developed for both of the one is a Bishan, a little eighteen pound Bouchon and one is my sixty six pound Labrador. They've got somewhat different nutritional needs, but we've found a way to kind of thread the needle and develop this kind of adjunct vegetable and rice mix to add to the food and kind of get to the levels where. But it was, it was lots and lots of spreadsheets in the beginning to to establish these levels. But, yeah, we're in pretty good place.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Ok, so tell me the canine biologic storyline. I want to understand, you know, the founding and why I focused on oncology and where that's gone today.

Jeff Sutherland:
Well, for a couple of reasons. One, you know, as everyone knows, cancer is a horrible disease. And it's it's very widely spread in North America, primarily U.S. and Canada. There were about 500000 dogs a month diagnosed with cancer. If a dog reaches 10 years of age, it has a 50 percent chance of developing cancer. And it's the leading cause of natural, quote unquote, death in dogs over two. So, A, it's a very big problem. Many, many dogs are diagnosed each year having seen the benefit that good nutrition had on a number of other conditions and that other conditions are targeted by some of the bigger commercial companies like kidney disease and joint tissues. And things are targeted nutritionally. I thought, you know, let's do something for those poor animals that are battling cancer and no one else is really doing much in that space at all. And we not only took that space on, if you will, but we have developed a very novel approach in a number of ways to address the nutritional needs of dogs with that are fighting this disease. So we kind of identified the need and then we've come up with a very novel approach to, you know, we don't just make high quality food or food that's high in fat and protein, though it is. We take a few additional steps and I'll be happy to line those out for you if you like. One of the things we do differently than virtually any other food company in the space in pet food is that we keep our major components separate until time of feeding.

Jeff Sutherland:
And to line that out a little bit, if you take a bag of kibble, it has got everything in that bag that your dog theoretically needs, right? All the vitamins and minerals are premixed and placed in with it, and then it sits on a shelf for months and months or more than, you know, almost two years in some cases, even though it's sealed and there are preservatives and stuff which we have none of no preservatives in our in our system, there is oxidation and degradation of particularly the bee complex of vitamins and other components. And some of the fats will tend to get rancid and oxidize over time. What we do is we provide the pet parent with three components food, which has five ingredients, nothing else. Oil, which is a pure salmon oil wild, caught Alaskan salmon. All that is gone through a molecular distillation to remove virtually all contaminants, heavy metals, et cetera, and then a supplement mix. And this is kind of the heart of our approach, if you will. The supplement mix contains not only the normal complement of vitamins and minerals to make it a complete and balanced diet, but also we use the word targeted or specialized supplements based on tumor type. So our first mix out of the gate right now is primarily targeted or, you know, looking to help with lymphoma. And it's the most widely recognized cancer in dogs. On our product roadmap. We are going to produce probably four more different supplements that each one will be tweaked based on tumor types.

Jeff Sutherland:
So a dog with osteosarcoma would get a different supplement mix than a dog with Macel tumor or lymphoma or other conditions. So that is a unique approach there. And our keeping these major components separate until time of feeding is also a major departure from kind of the state of the art, if you will, by keeping all of them separate and only mixing them at mealtime. We have a freeze-dried human grade food. Which, again, has five ingredients and no preservatives, we have the supplement mix, which again is all human grade ingredients and it's kept separate. So so these things do not have a chance to be opened up or sitting on a shelf for months and months and months and oxidizing. And then our salmon oil is topped with inert nitrogen to keep it from oxidizing as well while it's in the bottle. So I have salmon oil from an early pass at this whole project that's almost five years old now. And I'm still opening bottles and it's as fresh as I believe the day it went in because they're they're very well sealed and they do have this nitrogen cap that keeps any oxygen from getting to the oil at all. So it's a very good system. So therefore, we have the pet parent take a more active role, which is kind of a side benefit of our approach rather than just dumping kibble into a bowl. My dog has cancer. I want to be involved.

Jeff Sutherland:
And that's kind of part of the social and, you know, pet bond that we enjoy. And it gives the pet parents a slightly more active role in in caring for the animal without being overly onerous. I mean, it takes about five minutes to mix up a meal, maybe, maybe even less. But it is an active participation, if you will. So that's that's part of it. And from the feedback we have from our current clients, that they are very happy to do so. And one other little unique aspect of what we do is, is our product is packaged in relatively small packages such that the longest to be used would be about two weeks. We we do multiple sizes of each component. And then we preselect, if you will, when you tell me my dog is of a certain age and weight and activity level and sex and whether or not they're they've been, you know, spayed or neutered, we provide a customized version, if you will, for your dog. So many pounds of food, so many ounces of oil, so many grams of supplement per month. But each of those is then usually packaged in multiple packages so that they're opened every few days. And the max is about two weeks in any of our modeling for the various dogs. And again, this helps keep the oxidation from occurring, keeps the vitamins and minerals as potent as possible, along with the oil and the food. So that's kind of our high level look at our overall approach.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
So you worked with an oncologist to design all this? A canine oncologist?

Jeff Sutherland:
Yes, we have a doctor we work with. He's an active practicing oncology veterinarian and he has a PhD in tumor immunology, very much understands the space. And then he does the supplement formulation. And then we're working with a veterinarian who's a PhD also and a associate professor of nutrition at North Carolina State Veterinary College of Medicine in Raleigh. So she handles the formulation of the food and the oil application, if you will, the amounts and so forth. And he handles the the supplement mix. And then she and I kind of oversee the entire program, if you will, to make sure everything is is where it needs to be in terms of nutritional profile, complete and balanced food and so forth.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
What is it about a dog's biology that causes this seemingly very high rate of cancer?

Jeff Sutherland:
Well, the rate isn't very much different from the human population, actually, in terms of overall rate. But dogs do develop different cancers at a higher speed. I should have said frequency earlier rate because of a dog's lifespan. Cancer progresses more rapidly in this biological model, if you will. So if a dog gets hemangioma, Arkoma, for example, which is a cancer of the lining of the arteries, but primarily tends to end up lodging in either the pancreas or the heart, it's deadly very quickly, oftentimes within days of diagnosis. And sometimes the dog will die with no diagnosis. And after the fact, they'll realize it was Amancio sarcoma, other like osteosarcoma. And things also tend to progress faster in the canine model than in the human model. What's really interesting that keeps me kind of attentive to the space is the great deal of comparative oncology that occurs between these two species. Generally speaking, a good rule of thumb is if it works in a human, it'll work in the dog with with modifications and dosing and vice versa. There are some exceptions, but generally speaking, they form a very close analog to each other and a lot of testing goes on and a lot of cross application. So they'll prove that something works for colon cancer in humans and then they'll apply it to the dog and vice versa. So that's a very, very common thing to happen.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
So you're designing a diet? Certainly would call that a treatment for the cancer. B, no special diet that you would not call it a treatment. OK, I was going to say we

Jeff Sutherland:
Are extremely careful to say that we and the standard disclaimer, we don't treat, diagnose, mitigate, you know, cure. Cetera, etc., Any condition, right, we are a supportive mechanism is the way I classify us, we're not a drug, we give the canine. What it needs to support its own systems, basically, and I'll give you a quick example, one of our components actually to protect the GI tract of the animal, and this is especially important during chemo or radiation therapy, these things can have tremendously detrimental effects to the mucosal lining, for example, of the GI tract. And when that gets degraded and compromised, the ability to uptake nutrition is also degraded. So we put in some components to protect the liver, protect the GI tract, et cetera, that allow the animal to then make the best use possible of the nutrition that we do have present.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
So what sort of chemicals are in there for the GI protectant? Remember, this is for scientists. Well, we don't

Jeff Sutherland:
Use any chemicals per say, but amino acids,

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Vitamin Eataly is maybe one that that might help. So, yes, there's there's

Jeff Sutherland:
A little bit of vitamin E, but what we also do that's that's a little bit different than the traditional thinking is we very much limit any additional antioxidants. And the reason for that is an overabundance of antioxidants, especially kind of added in as supplements can interfere with the proper function of the chemotherapeutic or any oxidative therapy. So by limiting the antioxidant load in our system, we allow the oxidative therapies like radio or chemo to be as effective as possible. The veterinarian and the owner can, if they choose before and after treatments, they could add additional antioxidants if they wish to do so. But we needed to kind of keep the food at a lower baseline so as not to interfere with those therapies. So that's that's another kind of unique part of our approach. And since you're asking about the some of the more specific compounds, another thing about our system is it's it's cross balanced. A question I get a lot is what could I just buy your supplement and added to the food I already feed my dog or just buy your food and use something else for vitamins and minerals. And the answer is, is quite simply no. And there's a very good reason. For example, we followed some studies at some of the universities that showed that there were there were positive clinical effects for certain levels of, let's say, arginine in certain blood levels. Our food contains X percent of arginine, naturally, to get to the clinically effective level that has been that has been shown. We added a specific amount of arginine to this supplement mix to bring the total load up to a certain level.

Jeff Sutherland:
And I'm trying not to give away trade secrets here as we are applying for patents on our system, but we have what we call cross balanced or cross engineered components here. And that is only one example. There are several others where, you know, the amount of fatty acids and fat in the oil complement what's in the food. And there are very specific literally down to the to the almost milligram levels that we're trying to achieve on a dosing basis. And again, we're not a drug, but we do want to assure that so many milligrams per kilogram of dog's weight is available as in the arginine component and other amino acids and so forth. We use a secondary compound called Sillerman. It's a it's a milk thistle derivative that has been very well documented to, too, both in humans and dogs protect the liver from toxic side effects of chemotherapy. So that's another one that we add. And my dog has been on a product that incorporates Sillerman this milk this a derivative for several years now because as a geriatric dog, she was displaying what is very commonly shown, which is degradation of liver function. You know, things start to break down a little bit. And we're using a similar compound in our food for the very specific purpose of helping the liver as it might be attacked, if you will, by the therapies that are trying to kill the cancer. So, you know, we we not only have some compounds that deal directly to support the body in dealing with the tumor, but we have others that help the body guard against the negative side effects of some of the therapies.

Jeff Sutherland:
So we're trying to walk both sides of the street in that in that instance and then provide absolutely superior nutrition for the rest of the body's functioning. And again, our food is 100 percent human grade. You could take what we have. It's Freeze-Dried. It's just like the food you might take camping where you add hot water to a pouch and let it sit for 10 minutes and then you've got your meal. The only difference between hours and that is salt and pepper because it's not so good for dogs. But you could literally and we just today heard a story from one of our the veterinary clinics that we work with where I think it was a vet tech, but I'm not sure of her position. But she said, I got really hungry. I forgot my lunch that day at. Somebody said, well, you know, you can eat the canine biologics and hand, hand on heart, she told us that that's exactly what she did. She made up a bowl of canine biologic food. She didn't add to supplements and fish oil and thoroughly enjoyed it. And we'll be pushing that on our website shortly because she gave us permission to tell her story. So excellent. But I always try to train people in terms of our product to talk about food for dogs and not dog food because it's got a certain negative connotation.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Yeah, and you corrected me when I said compounds and I was thinking, I'm thinking like a chemist. Right. And so I'm not really differentiating what what some people might think of chemicals, compounds, things like that. To me, it's all different, you know, different molecular structures. I have a little bit of

Jeff Sutherland:
And obviously at a molecular level, you're absolutely right. But but I'm trying to keep saying the right things to the

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Right, so. Right. Exactly. Yeah, I totally appreciate that. I have a little bit of experience in drug development for supporting radiation treatment. And so I was thinking of, oh, things like Toca trying all these can be additives that are that are protect us against radiation treatment in a number of other compounds. I actually also can't say too much because of some of the some of the work I do in some of the confidentialities I'm involved in. But it's really interesting because I had never in some of that other work we do, I had never kind of thought about the translation over to to pets. So really appreciate it. And a lot of the drugs that we look at in this program that I'm involved in are our food additives. They're pretty simple. They're already, you know, they're FDA grass, so generally regarded as safe agents and things like that. So it's really interesting to see that you guys are picking up on this, essentially, maybe maybe I need to share a couple articles. Maybe we'll learn something from each other afterwards.

Jeff Sutherland:
Yeah, there are some other benefits to some of these compounds, for example, and this is pretty well published in the literature. The fatty acids in our salmon oil sensitise T cells, lymphoma, t cells, cancer cells to the effect of the chemotherapy, thereby enhancing the effect of the chemotherapeutic agent. So in some regards, in a couple of compounds, there's there's a secondary compound that I'm not going to name at the moment. It's pretty rare, but its primary function is to allow the chemotherapy to be more effective. End of the story. And that particular compound is about three thousand dollars a pound to include. Luckily, we don't need a lot of milligrams of it, but we take the science very seriously. And that's another primary plank in the story, is we are very much evidence based. And Mary had a great response from her dog when she used a particular Chinese herb. I say, first of all, good for you and Mary and your dog. Secondly, when I can find clinical studies that prove the efficacy and the safety of the compound in that particular herb, then I'm going to use it if it makes sense. But we don't just put things in because we've heard they're good. We we take a very disciplined approach to examining the literature, the clinical trials, the evidence that's out there, and then we make a decision to include or disclose at a compound in our overall system.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Yeah, I was curious the absence of AbbVie, who's a mutual friend and he's involved with both of our businesses, I believe. I think he's involved with your business. He introduced us and said, hey, you got to get Jeff on this podcast. Interesting guy. And I really appreciate you doing that. So what is Ashton's involvement in canine biologics?

Jeff Sutherland:
So the question is, is our board chairman and he's also named as our chief science officer and with his Ph.D. in biochemistry, that comes in very handy in discussing compounds and things that we're looking to include in our system. He's also a financial backer. He helped get us off the ground and we've since attracted quite a bit of investment and are going for more this coming month. Actually, you know, we went to market last August and we've been having about a twenty eight to 30 percent month over month growth and in our revenue. And then we've been growing greatly in terms of our ability to attract veterinarians and specifically veterinary oncologists. We've got a great following already, which which is a little bit surprising because we are not a drug and we don't have years and years of FDA specified clinical trials like the drugs need to do. But these doctors and others within the veterinary field recognize that a dog has to eat. And that's the bottom line be what we're doing makes sense that we, you know, follow the evidence, we discuss the compounds we're using and why we're using them. And and most of the time, they've even heard of the compound or they're familiar with it or, you know, it doesn't surprise them that we're using it and they see the logic of our approach. And we've had actually much greater except. And in that particular community, which can be extremely discriminating in terms of, you know, we want people that are following good science and because one of their own basically helped formulate our supplement, makes a professor of nutrition at a well regarded veterinary school, you know, oversees our nutrition. This also has helped us, I think, gain some acceptance and in the veterinary community and specifically with the oncologists.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
So, Jeff, is this changed how you as a human kind of, you know, your diet or how you might approach if you were to unfortunately suffer from cancer or something like that

Jeff Sutherland:
Kind of hand in hand several years ago now as I was developing the original deserving dog food that was, again, very, very high quality, I became more I was always somewhat interested in nutrition, but became much more interested. And there's a quick little story kind of back in that time frame. I had always enjoyed extremely good levels of cholesterol and general lipid panel and blood pressure and everything else. At that point, things started to change a little bit. They started to creep up. And because of a problem my father had had, I said I don't want to, you know, kind of go down that slippery slope. So I started examining in very great detail what I might be able to do nutritionally to help keep those levels in check and maybe bring them back down again. I stumbled upon a program by a doctor at the Cleveland Clinic. And what's funny is, is I was single at the time. I met my now girlfriend a few years later, and she and I had both been on this program and not many people have, but through pure nutrition, a plant based diet primarily, we both encountered the same great effect from from this this diet, which was lowering, you know, lowering the bad cholesterol, raising HDL, for example, a good cholesterol. Triglyceride levels are improved over the course of 12 weeks. I took a baseline and I didn't change anything. So I took a baseline blood panel, followed this diet regimen very carefully, 12 weeks later, went back and had my blood panel done again and all of my bad lipids had dropped by 30 percent. I didn't change my exercise regimen, my, you know, alcohol intake, anything. I just concentrate on a diet, though. I kind of knew it in my head. It proved it to me that, you know, nutrition can have a tremendous impact on the health of the organism, if you will. So.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Yeah, and whether it's a dog or a human or what. So is seven years equals one year. Do you guys use that kind of measurement?

Jeff Sutherland:
That's kind of a kind of an outmoded method to look at it. They take a much more refined approach. Looking at breed size is one of the major modifiers. So small breeds tend to live longer than giant breeds. And then there are gradations in between. You take a Great Dane until recently, if you got seven, eight years, you were doing very well. I know there's been some crossbreeding in the Dane population to deal with some specific issues that I learned about and many of them that are now living 10 to 12 years. But traditionally that's been a short lived dog breed, Bernese mountain dogs, another one. You know, if you got seven or eight years, you were doing very well. Even my Labrador, I mean, Herb stated in human years, length of life should be ten to twelve. She's now pushing fifteen and she's certainly showing her age. But I don't have the link in front of me. But I did find it recently. I'd be happy to share it with you afterwards. And it was a refined model for estimating these kinds of things. And given where she is and she's she's out on the end of the bell curve.

Jeff Sutherland:
Now, in terms of her her age distribution, I think it's a pretty accurate model to follow. So it basically, you know, you tell it how old your dog is now and it says, well, for the first two years at aged this much in terms of, you know, if you want to translate it back into human ears and then in or into dog years, I should say, and then in the next you know, from years from zero to two, there's a certain curve, if you will, that changes, that models differently for different breeds. And then from about two to eight, there's a different level of aging per year per human year. There's a much more refined statistical model, really is what it comes down to. So this I only found I knew I knew of refined models, but I found one just within the last few weeks that I think is pretty trustworthy. So that's a long winded answer to seven to one. It's not really used that much anymore during covid.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
There have been so many dogs adopted. And, you know, it's something you hear about that if you want a dog, you're going have a hard time even finding a breeder. There's good and bad to that, right. I'm worried that there's too many dogs that have been adopted. And then, you know, you know what's going to happen after Koven when people get back to their regular lives. What do you think about that?

Jeff Sutherland:
Well, it's certainly had an effect on us in in that the veterinarians have been. Much busier than they were pre covered, we know of one hospital chain where there at least their oncology community was running at 140 percent of their prior year in terms of activity, which has provided a challenge to canine biologics in that we want to go out and talk to these people or at least talk to them on Zoome or virtually. And they're just so busy that it's very hard to get their ear. And like everyone else, we can't go into their office. We can't go shake hands and smile and, you know, be in the same room. So it's made our our sales and marketing efforts. We've had to adjust specifically for those two issues. So that's provided a challenge in terms of the general dog population, I'm really glad to see a higher adoption rate and there will be some falloff. It's a natural occurrence, but I think on balance, more dogs will find more good homes as a result of the covid effect, if you will, than would have otherwise. So so the net net on all of this is I think more dogs will be in better homes than they would have been. So so, yes, again, there will be some sad stories about people who are adopted during covid and then they, for whatever reason, don't or can't keep the dog and so forth. But I'm heartened by the numbers that more dogs were just given good places to live.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
That's a good way to look at. I personally got a dog actually out in Colorado and Crawford, Dobermann shortly before covid. And so the timing was good because then I was home. Otherwise, I worry that, I mean, my wife's home, that I travel for work. I'm not sure she would have been the awesome dog that he is because while he's at my feet nonstop.

Jeff Sutherland:
So another angle to look at in that discussion is, yes, there'll be some effects on dogs, but what has been the net effect on us? And just as you mentioned about about your effect on him being a better dog? My take is that he had an effect on you. When you look at the social, emotional, psychological challenges that many people have encountered, probably all of us to one degree or another during covid having that companion animal, I think can make a tremendous difference in our mental health or our sociability or happiness, generally speaking. So I think, you know, from that aspect, it's a very good thing that many of these dogs are adopted.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
I think that's a wonderful perspective and I really hadn't thought of it that way. I guess he's been my emotional support dog through covid, which is great because I've always been into the office or traveling. And so I'm used to being around more people and sitting in my office all day. I have have had some company and it's it's wonderful. So so one of the one of the things that we always talk about on molecular moments also is mentors and serving as a mentor. And I'm curious in this process you've gone through to develop a whole new formulation and a new business and a new really kind of a new business model. What you did sounds pretty unique to me, you know, who have been mentors and how have you incorporated that into what you've had to do?

Jeff Sutherland:
It's a great question. There have been several the most recent of which has been Afshan. Dr. Sabawi has been tremendous to work with and learn from. And he's he's he's you know, I'm trying not to butter my bread on both sides here. I would say this even if he hadn't been involved, if I'd gotten to know him, he's a great guy and he has really helped me put things in perspective, kind of keeping me from the edge of the village at times. So he's he's been wonderful to work with my chief acting chief marketing officer, who was actually also an old friend. He was the former global brand strategy director for General Motors and a very good marketing mind. And he has helped me tremendously in strategy, not only in the marketing side of our business, but generally speaking as well. So I've had a very positive effect from him. And then his name is Tim Bennett, by the way. Just again, an awesome person. And early on when I had the serving dog and was and then was moving into forming canine biologics, a gentleman by the name of Steve Schaefer, who used to be the president of Quizno's Corporation, I found him through the SBA. They have a program of mentorship for people like me at the time who needed senior CEO levels and sea level people in various disciplines to help out. So I've had those three definitely have been significant in helping me with the business.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Yeah, that's so important when you're starting a business like that, because, you know, I've been in an executive role for quite a number of years, and to be honest, I wouldn't know where to start. If I was going to start my own business. I'd probably call Afshan actually somebody who's been very successful in a number of businesses and and in my field. So I wanted to ask you a few fun questions. Let me ask you first, is there anything else you wanted to tell us about and biologics or anything about your business? I'm really excited. I hope I never need your product. But if I do, I know, is there anything else you'd want to tell us before we move on to a couple of fun questions and wrap things up?

Jeff Sutherland:
It's a great point. I would much rather be doing something else. I wish the problem didn't exist that we are addressing, but I can't help the fact that cancer is out there that affects many, many, many dogs. And because I love them so much, I want to be there to help. And we've had some great successes. So I'm thrilled at what's been going on. I would just say generally I don't mean to denigrate anybody or any product or company, but for for everybody listening, feed your dog as well as you can as well as you can afford as well as you can manage. I'm a huge believer that the better a dog eats in terms of great nutrition a the lower their their vet bills are going to be through their life. You're going to you're going to more than make up the additional spend by having lower cost of ownership in terms of of health care. And you're going to have a healthier, happier dog. I mean, just no two ways about it. So from my particular perspective, I'm just a big believer in really good nutrition, whether a human or animal. And I love what I do. I think the other thing is I've been asked the number of times about, you know, what's it like to start a business and, you know, be an entrepreneur and so forth. And the number one thing for me, and I wish it hadn't come so late in life, but find your passion. I mean, I almost literally spring out of bed to come and work at Kennametal Logic's. And again, while my former career and it was interesting and and it paid well and so forth, I didn't have that kind of, you know, motivation in the morning, if you will. But but I almost can't wait to get to the office. And and it's doing something that you love and working with, you know, this kind of thing rather than selling the next widget. It just thrills me, you know, when. So I'm really glad to be involved.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
That's really, really cool. And it's it's always exciting for me to hear somebody who is so passionate about their what they're doing. And so congratulations on that. So let me ask is he lived in New Zealand for a while. I guess you've probably traveled. Tell me where the next place is and your travel bucket list and why

Jeff Sutherland:
There's that's a long list. We could spend another hour talking about that. There are a number of them. So I'd like to return to like the Lakes region of Italy, which is where part of my family came from, north of Milan into Switzerland, that that area I find just to be one of the prettiest places on the planet, Patagonia in South America is also one I have not been to, but is definitely on my bucket list. I really want to go back to New Zealand. I made some great friends there and it's to me it's the prettiest country on the planet in terms of variety. It's got practically everything from fjords to glaciers to, you know, you name it. There's a spot on the South Island. You hike through a rainforest and I'm talking jungle green dripping true rainforest come around the corner. And five hundred metres away is the terminal face of a glacier. And it's the only place in the world where those two things occur in such close proximity. And when I was there the first time I turned and looked back into the rainforest, I looked back at the ice. I thought it was a green screen. It's like that can't be there, you know, it's just, you know, it it looks so close, almost as if I could reach out and touch it. So it's just the most dramatic transition between two climate zones I've ever encountered and in that proximity. So I love the country and I love the people there. So it's a place I want to return to. I'd like to do a little more Southeast Asia as well. I haven't been to Thailand, for example. That's that's on my list. Some traveling around, you know, Japan. I study Japanese, but I've never been there. So, you know, I'd really like to go. But that's a little bit about my travels.

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
Yeah. Yeah, you're right. We you know, and I love to travel as well. It's one of the things I love about my job is I get to travel. So I'm really looking forward to to the world returning to a little bit more normal. So, yes, absolutely. Absolutely. You know, Jeff, just I'm delighted to have had you as a guest. I so appreciate it for Ash and for suggesting that I'm probably going to start planning a different diet for my dogs tonight because, you know, I think they eat well as far as the kibble they eat. But I've always felt like they could eat better. And as my Great Dane is approaching about six years old at that man, it's it's not too late and she's healthy now that she's starting to show her age. We'd love we'd love to see her live another six years. So I really appreciate all the advice and feedback and hope I'm not a customer, but if I ever need it, I'm glad that I will be so. Thanks. I don't know if you have any parting parting words.

Jeff Sutherland:
Just thank you. It was a pleasure. You are, as most of the people I know that I've met that and also know Afshin, you know, seem like a great person and and it's a pleasure to join be happy to talk to you afterwards about your particular pets and their dietary needs. I can lend some some knowledge there and would be happy to do so. So, again, I really want to. Thank you for the time and the interest,

Dr. Chad Briscoe:
And it's been a pleasure. Yeah, thanks again, Jeff. And that is all for this episode if you enjoyed today's episode. Be sure to subscribe an Apple podcast, Spotify or your favourite podcast app. So you never miss a conversation if you'd like to hang out with us outside of the podcast. We have many webinars and other presentations available for your enjoyment and education. Visit Biogenetics Dotcom to see what's coming up and how you can stay in touch if you want to learn more about Jeff's product. You can visit canine biologics dot com and don't forget to keep an eye out for more episodes coming soon. We're looking forward to some great guests will have world renowned experts talking about rare diseases. Vaccine experts discussing the next generation of MRSA vaccines, more new and exciting technology experts in a conversation with a patient who's benefited from the recent tremendous developments in the pharmaceutical industry. Molecular moments would not be possible without the support of our sponsor, Biogenetics Labs Biogenetics is a global contract research organization specializing in large molecule bio analysis based in Durham, North Carolina, with labs in Hamburg, Germany, and Boston, Massachusetts. Biogenetics provides high quality bio analytical services to leading pharma and biotech companies around the world. They offer assay development, validation and sample analysis under Nanji LP, JLP and GCP, as well as GMP Quality Control Testing. If you are looking to work with a team of highly experienced scientific and kuai professionals through all phases of clinical development, look no further than biogenetics. For more information or to speak with their scientists today, visit their website at Biogenetics Dotcom.

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