U of I Research Park start-up working on animal contraceptive

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — A start-up out of the U of I Research Park is working on a contraceptive for dogs and cats. The company just got a big boost.

Epivara got a quarter of a million dollars from the National Science Foundation. The team is creating an injection that would act as a permanent alternative to spaying and neutering. It is a one-time shot that stops the growth of the reproductive system in animals.

They say the traditional surgeries are safe, quick and easy, but any procedure comes with the chance of risks.

“It’s still a stress on the animals to put them through the surgery, and there’s always some complications occasionally that show up,” said Rex Hess, Epivara director of science. “And it’s expensive in some areas. It’s not cheap. Some people put it off.”

The Epivara team said the shot would be a cheaper option, plus ease overpopulation and prevent animals from being euthanized in shelters.

The injection has already worked well in mice.

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