Testing for ITPP, a drug that some trials shows allowing hemogloblin to deliver more oxygen to the body and thus enhancing performance, is on the horizon in harness racing.
Dr. Gregg Scoggins, project manager for the Racing Medication and Testing Consortium (RMTC), said Dr. Terry Wan of the Hong Kong Jockey Club has developed a method of detecting ITPP. The Hong Kong Jockey Club has been testing for ITPP for six weeks and Dr. Wan will discuss his work in an upcoming scientific journal.
Dr. Scoggins said that after the RMTC's advisory committee learns the details of Dr. Wan's work, it could then "run it past the chemists...and recommend that labs move foward to develop SOPs (standard operating procedures)."
ITPP is formally known as myo-inositol trispyrophosphate (ITPP). According to Jean-Marie Lehn of the University of Strasbourg in France, ITPP boosted exercise levels in ailing mice by 35% when given dissolved in water. When given by injection into the abdomen, exercise levels rose a massive 60%.
In addition, 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 to begin work to find a method to detect ITPP.
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 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.
The research by the Pennsylvania team 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 RMTC.--harnessracing.com