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US FDA approves Zoetis’ Solensia to control osteoarthritis pain in cats

Parsippany, New Jersey
Saturday, January 15, 2022, 12:00 Hrs  [IST]

Zoetis Inc., a leading animal health company, announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Solensia to control the pain of osteoarthritis (OA) in cats, helping improve their mobility, comfort and overall well-being. As a once-monthly injection administered in the veterinary clinic, Solensia keeps OA pain from disrupting the unique bond cats share with their humans.

Feline OA, a highly prevalent condition with nearly 40% of all cats showing signs of OA pain, occurs when the protective tissue in the joints (cartilage) is worn down, causing bones to rub together. This makes moving harder and causes severe pain. Without treatment, OA pain can worsen over time and seriously affect a cat’s long-term health and well-being.

“Feline OA pain is typically undertreated because of a lack of effective solutions that are safe to use long-term, along with how difficult it can be for cat owners to administer oral medicines,” said Mike McFarland, DVM, chief medical officer at Zoetis. “The approval of Solensia is a significant step forward in the control of feline OA pain. Cat owners and veterinarians alike can feel confident that Solensia, with active substance frunevetmab, a monoclonal antibody (mAb) designed specifically for felines, has been studied and demonstrated to control OA pain and help cats get back to moving more freely again.”

Solensia works differently than other available treatments by targeting Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), a key driver of OA pain. NGF activates and perpetuates the pain signal by increasing the release of additional pain and inflammation mediators. By targeting NGF, Solensia reduces pain signals and effectively controls feline OA pain.

After a single treatment, Solensia noticeably reduced OA pain. In fact, 77% of cat owners experienced seeing improvement in signs of pain when their cats were treated monthly with Solensia in a 3-month study, while 67% of cat owners experienced improvement in signs of their cat’s pain in the placebo group. Solensia was found to be well-tolerated: the most common side effects were vomiting and injection site pain.

“While feline osteoarthritis isn’t curable, the pain from osteoarthritis can be effectively managed1,” said Margaret E. Gruen, DVM, MVPH, PhD, DACVB, Assistant Professor of Behavioural Medicine at North Carolina State University. “Pain is the primary experience of osteoarthritis, and when left untreated, it becomes its own disease state, in part due to the action of NGF, which makes anti-NGF therapy such a game-changing advancement in the management of OA pain. For cat owners, knowing your cat’s OA pain is well controlled with an easily administered monthly treatment can be a tremendous relief.”

Solensia is a monoclonal antibody therapy administered in the clinic that targets Nerve Growth Factor (NGF) to control feline OA pain. Solensia functions like naturally produced antibodies and is eliminated via normal protein degradation pathways in the same way with minimal involvement of the liver or kidneys.

Solensia is approved in the European Union and has been available to veterinarians since May 2021.

Feline osteoarthritis (OA) is a highly prevalent condition. Nearly 40% of cats show signs of OA pain2: in clinical studies, osteoarthritis was detected in 60% of cats older than 6 years of age9, and 90% of cats older than 12 years of age.10 Feline OA pain is undertreated due to the lack of safe and efficacious treatments approved for long-term treatment, and to the administration challenges for pet owners with oral medicines.2

As the world’s leading animal health company, Zoetis is driven by a singular purpose: to nurture our world and humankind by advancing care for animals. After nearly 70 years innovating ways to predict, prevent, detect, and treat animal illness, Zoetis continues to stand by those raising and caring for animals worldwide -- from livestock farmers to veterinarians and pet owners.


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