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FDA Approves First Treatment To Control Pain In Cats With Osteoarthritis

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved Zoetis Inc.'s Solensia (frunevetmab injection) to control pain in cats associated with osteoarthritis.

It is the first treatment for the control of such pain, and also the first monoclonal antibody or mAb new animal drug approved by the FDA for use in any animal species.

Solensia is available only by prescription from a licensed veterinarian as proper diagnose is required to identify pain associated with osteoarthritis in cats. Solensia is given through subcutaneous, i.e., under the skin, injection once a month and is dosed based on the weight of the animal.

Osteoarthritis in cats is a degenerative condition of the joints in which the normal cartilage cushion in the joints breaks down. The bones in the joint then rub against each other, causing pain and decreased joint movement. Sometimes, this forms bone spurs or other changes in and around the joint, and over time Osteoarthritis continues to get worse.

The FDA noted that Solensia can help manage the pain associated with the condition to improve the cat's quality of life. Frunevetmab, the active ingredient in Solensia, is a cat-specific monoclonal antibody, a type of protein. It is designed to recognize and attach to a protein called nerve growth factor or NGF that is involved in the regulation of pain. When frunevetmab binds to NGF, it prevents the pain signal from reaching the brain.

The FDA approved the drug after analyzing whether the overall evidence supported the conclusion that Solensia was effective in controlling pain associated with osteoarthritis in cats.

The effectiveness of Solensia was evaluated in two effectiveness studies using three clinical assessments that measured different aspects of pain associated with osteoarthritis in cats. The two clinical trials were both masked, randomized, controlled field studies involving client-owned cats with clinical signs of osteoarthritis. Overall, the cats in the treatment group had better assessment scores than those in the control group.

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