[October 16, 2011; Kennett Square, PA] – Lawrence R. Soma, VMD, DACVA announced that the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine’s New Bolton Center has received a generous donation from the Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen Association. The monies donated, in conjunction with donations from the Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, the Pennsylvania Horsemen Benevolent and Protective Association, and the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen Association at PARX will be used for the purpose of developing methods to detect and study the effects of a performance enhancing drug, informally called ITPP. The on-going research program is a joint venture between Cornelius E. Uboh, PhD, director of the Pennsylvania Equine Toxicology and Research Laboratory at West Chester University and Dr. Soma, professor of anesthesia and the Marilyn M. Simpson professor of Veterinary Medicine and director of the PA Equine Pharmacology Laboratory at Penn Vet in Kennett Square, PA, which is supported primarily by the Pennsylvania Horse and Harness Racing Commissions.
“We are very appreciative of these gifts from the PA Horsemen’s groups, which have been used to enhance our research program. This is of benefit to all constituents in the racing industry,” says Dr. Soma. “We have withdrawn all other proposals requesting funding for this specific drug.”
The research will be co-directed by Mary Robinson, VMD, PhD. Dr. Robinson is a lecturer of equine pharmacology. Her fellowship at Penn Vet is funded, in part, by the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium. Research to investigate AICAR, another drug suspected of being utilized in the racing industry, is near completion thanks to funding from the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium.