The Cure for FIP: Beyond the Hype (continued)
NO CLAIM TO CURE OR DRUG READINESS
Again, the researchers themselves have NOT made the claim that GC376 is a drug or the cure for FIP. On the contrary, they have repeatedly stated that it is ineffective for dry FIP and, for cats with neurological signs of FIP, that more studies are needed, and that GC376 may never reach the market, e.g. become an approved drug. They have additionally stated that the substance is hard to procure and very expensive to manufacture, and that this is the main reason why only twenty cats were included in the clinical trial.
YOU CAN BUY GC376...
The claim that the substance is rare and expensive is a half-truth or half-lie, depending on one's point of view. GC376 is already on the market as a research chemical –because that's what it is. It is not hard to procure. All you need is money. For example, you can order it here: medchemexpress.com/GC376.html. The company describes GC376 as a 3CLpro inhibitor that inhibits the replication of viruses TGEV, FIPV and PTV, and includes a reference to studies by Dr. Kim Yunjeong.
The UC Davis team is aware of the availability of the protease inhibitor on the market. Dr. Pedersen himself acknowledged as much this year. This is an excerpt from the transcript of the June 29, 2017, symposium titled "Ending FIP - is there hope?":
‟For instance, the GC376 is already being synthesized in China and sold, and people are buying it."
-Dr. Pedersen, 06/29/2017.
...BUT IT'S PRICEY
It is true that the drug is expensive: $2,100 for 50 mg, per the manufacturer's retail price. While we are on the topic of dollars and sense, how much did this ‟promising" GC376 study cost? We don't have the exact numbers from UC Davis or the research team. Because this is academia, they are not obligated to be transparent or held accountable to anyone except their funding organizations and the legal requirements of research. How much did GC376 cost to UC Davis? We don't know. Unless the research team cares to share this information, we are left in the dark. But we can at least try and run some numbers based on the published market price of GC376.
WHAT WOULD GC376 COST YOU
Let's do some simple math:
Cost per mg:
The base price of GC376 is $ 2,100 for 50 mg, yielding a cost per mg of:
$2100/50 mg = $42. That is $42 per each mg of GC376.
Dosage and duration:
The course of treatment consists of 12 weeks of daily injections of 15mg/kg, twice a day. Dosage is weight based. We are using a weight of 2.59 kg/5.7lb, (an average weight for an 8-10 months old kitten) for reference. This is the median weight from the study.
2.59kg x 15 mg/kg = 38.85g per dose.
38.85 g x 2 times a day = 77.7 mg total of GC376 per day.
7 days per week x 12 weeks of treatment = 84 days.
Total amount of GC376 per cat based on median weight for 12 weeks of treatment:
77.7 mg daily x 84 days = 6526.80 mg.
Total cost of treatment per our hypothetical cat:
$42/mg x 6526.80 mg = $274,125.60.
That's what the treatment for a 5.7lb (2.59kg) cat could cost: $274,125.60.
You are reading this right: over a quarter million dollars per cat.
This cost would vary depending on your cat's actual weight and the length of treatment. It could be more, it could be less, but we are still talking six-figure here. Plus, there's no guarantee the cat will survive. Remember the 20 cherry-picked cats? Only 7 finished the trial. Are you ready to pay this kind of money for these odds?
Even without actual numbers, with 20 cats in the study, it is a safe estimation to say millions went into testing the safety and efficacy of GC376. If you think of the cost of the substance itself, human resources, overhead, lab equipment, and miscellaneous associated costs, the price tag is exorbitant.
And what did we get for all that?
Seven cats in remission - maybe. And...NO commercialization.
This is the reality of the results of the clinical trial some would want you and me to believe is the path to the cure for FIP.