SAN DIEGO, May 18, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Petco Health and Wellness Company, Inc. (NASDAQ: WOOF), a complete partner in pet health and wellness, today launched Together Strong, a pet cancer awareness campaign that brings two- and four-legged survivors together to highlight how routine preventative care is as vital for pets as it is for humans in the fight against cancer.
Along with the campaign and in partnership with PetDx™, a molecular diagnostics company aiming to revolutionize the detection, characterization and management of cancer in pets, Petco will begin offering OncoK9™ – a groundbreaking multi-cancer early detection test for dogs – at its full-service vet hospitals in select locations on May 26. OncoK9 is a liquid biopsy test that enables Petco veterinarians, for the first time ever, to detect a variety of cancer types with a simple blood draw. OncoK9 is recommended as an annual screening test for dogs at a higher risk of cancer based on age or breed, and as an aid in diagnosis for dogs suspected of cancer based on clinical signs. Following the initial launch this month, Petco plans to roll out the test to its growing network of vet hospitals across the U.S. throughout 2021 and beyond.
"Approximately one-in-three dogs and one-in-five cats will get cancer in their lives – and my dog, Yummy, was one of them in 2019," said Petco CEO Ron Coughlin. "Thankfully, with the expertise and care of one of Petco's own veterinarians, we moved quickly from diagnosis to treatment, and three months later, my best friend became a cancer survivor. By adding OncoK9 to our Petco veterinarians' toolbox, we'll help more pets and pet parents move quicker from suspicion to diagnosis and treatment, and hopefully from patient to survivor, just like Yummy."
Routine check-ups with a licensed veterinarian are recommended to keep pets healthy and help detect cancer early, when treatment is more effective and affordable. A consistent relationship with a trusted veterinarian and knowing the warning signs – like swollen lymph nodes and chronic weight loss – can help identify cancer early so pets have a better chance at avoiding becoming cancer statistics. As part of the Together Strong campaign, pet parents can receive a coupon, accessed at petco.com/petcancer, for a free general wellness exam at their pet's first visit to any Petco vet hospital, and coverage from Petco Insurance* will help subsidize the cost of care.
"Cancer is by far the leading cause of death in dogs, and we know from human medicine that early detection saves lives," said Daniel Grosu, MD, MBA, PetDx Founder & CEO. "OncoK9 is the world's first clinically validated, next-generation sequencing-based noninvasive test for canine cancer detection. We are delighted to partner with Petco in bringing the latest technological advances from the human cancer genomics space to veterinarians and their patients across the country."
With help from actress and dog mom Jamie Chung, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor, Petco is seeking #TogetherStrong stories to call attention to human survivors who have overcome cancer with the help of their pets and celebrate the lives of pets who have either lost or survived a battle with cancer. For every individual photo and story of hope, optimism, strength and companionship shared using "#TogetherStrong," Petco will donate $2 through the end of May to Petco Love to help fight pet cancer and provide life-saving care to pets in need. Together, Petco Love and Blue Buffalo have invested more than $16 million to support pet cancer research and treatment since 2010. As always, throughout Pet Cancer Awareness Month in May, pet lovers can join in the fight against pet cancer by donating at Petco registers or online at petcolove.org.
"Just like humans, our beloved pets are susceptible to cancer, which is why regular check-ups with your veterinarian are incredibly important in identifying the warning signs early," said Dr. Nicole Leibman, a board-certified veterinary oncologist, Director of the Cancer Institute, Animal Medical Center, New York, and a member of the Petco Pet Wellness Council. "I walk the journey with pet parents every day whose pets receive a cancer diagnosis, and early detection may contribute to more successful outcomes. With the revolutionary OncoK9 test, veterinarians will be able to access technology for critical screening and diagnostic workups, hopefully improving and changing the lives of our four-legged family members."
For more information about Petco's mission to help fight pet cancer, visit petco.com/petcancer.
About Petco, The Health + Wellness Co.
Petco is a category-defining health and wellness company focused on improving the lives of pets, pet parents and our own Petco partners. Since our founding in 1965, we've been striving to set new standards in pet care, delivering comprehensive wellness solutions through our products and services, and creating communities that deepen the pet-pet parent bond. We operate more than 1,500 Petco locations across the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico, including a growing network of more than 100 in-store veterinary hospitals, and offer a complete online resource for pet health and wellness at petco.com and on the Petco app. In tandem with Petco Love (formerly the Petco Foundation), an independent nonprofit organization, we work with and support thousands of local animal welfare groups across the country and, through in-store adoption events, we've helped find homes for more than 6.5 million animals.
PetDx – The Liquid Biopsy Company for Pets™ is a San Diego-based molecular diagnostics company dedicated to unleashing the power of genomics to improve pet health. The company's flagship product, OncoK9™, enables veterinarians to detect cancer in dogs with a simple blood draw. As a first-in-class multi-cancer early detection (MCED) test, OncoK9 employs cutting-edge genomic analysis that leverages next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology and proprietary bioinformatic algorithms empowering veterinarians to provide superior care to canine patients. To learn more, visit www.petdx.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, concerning expectations, beliefs, plans, objectives, goals, strategies, future events or performance and underlying assumptions and other statements that are other than statements of historical fact. Although Petco believes that the expectations and assumptions reflected in these statements are reasonable, there can be no assurance that these expectations will prove to be correct. Forward-looking statements are subject to many risks and uncertainties, including the risk factors that Petco identifies in its Securities and Exchange Commission filings, and actual results may differ materially from the results discussed in such forward-looking statements. Petco undertakes no duty to update publicly any forward-looking statement that it may make, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required by applicable law, regulation or other competent legal authority.
SOURCE Petco Health and Wellness Company, Inc.