Chronic Pain Relief for Cats

Short-term cat pain drugs have had approval but long-term pain has remained pharmaceutically untreated in cats -- until now.

Short-term cat pain drugs have had approval but long-term pain has remained pharmaceutically untreated in cats -- until now.

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Help might be on the way for cats experiencing chronic pain. Nextvet Biopharma, a veterinary biologics developer, has revealed the results of a study of NV-02, an anti-nerve growth factor monoclonal antibody therapy, which is for pain control associated with degenerative joint disease (DJD), such as osteoarthritis in kitties. 

The study measured changes in patient behavior and collar-mounted accelerometer data, which measures overall cat activity levels.

A couple of things were discovered. First, there was a statistically significant clinical improvement from baseline was observed client-specific outcome measures (CSOM) scores take three weeks after with compared with the placebo group in the POC study. Next, there weren’t any adverse effects that were observed at the doses tested in the proof-of-concept (POC) study or in the separate safety where cats were treated with NV-02 at more than 10 times the highest dose used in the POC study.

The study was a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled efficacy study of 32 client-owned cats DJD. The tests took place at the Comparative Pain Research Laboratory on the North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

In previous studies, NV-02 was found to be safe and well-tolerated when administered subcutaneously or intravenously and to have to a prolonged elimination half-life after a single injection. It was then administered repeatedly and it did not induce a neutralizing antibody response in a previous study of four cats. That means that the feline immune system did not identify NV-02 as a “foreign” protein, which is a step in successfully designing a biologic drug for repeated administration. In another previous study, NV-02 reduced lameness for feline inflammatory pain.

Feline chronic pain management has been a troubled area of treatment in the past because it’s largely gone unmet. Currently, in the United States no drugs have approval for chronic pain management in cats. Europe, however, has approved one. The current leading class of drug for acute (short-term) pain for dogs and cats are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). In the United States, NSAIDs are not approved for chronic pain in cats.

“These results provide further evidence supporting both NGF as a target for controlling pain in feline DJD, and PETization as a robust platform for translating mAbs between species. mAbs have long half-lives in patients and, unlike NSAIDs, are metabolized into simple amino acids and sugars. These factors give mAbs a favorable product profile for long-term administration in cats,” said Dr. David Gearing, Chief Scientific Officer of Nexvet.

Nexvet plans on continuing to analyze the data from the tests. They expect to take that data and figure out the next steps for NV-02 in the upcoming year.

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