It is also the first approved monoclonal antibody drug for any animal species.
On January 13, the FDA (United States Food and Drug Administration) approved the first treatment for pain associated with osteoarthritis in cats. It is also the first monoclonal antibody to be used for any animal species.
It’s about the drug Solensia, whose active ingredient is frunevetmab. It is a cat-specific monoclonal antibody designed to recognize and bind to a protein called nerve growth factor, which is involved in pain regulation. When frunevetmab binds to protein, it prevents the pain signal from reaching the brain.
Options for cats with osteoarthritis are very limited. Pets now live longer lives, but with them come the problems of aging, such as osteoarthritis. Dr. Steven M. Solomon, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said this approval marks the first treatment option for pain relief for cats suffering from this condition, and will significantly improve quality of life.
They also hope that it will be the beginning of the research and development of other products with monoclonal antibodies to treat animal diseases.
Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition of the joints in which the cartilage breaks down. The bones eventually rub against each other, causing pain, reduced movement, and sometimes changes in the bone.
Solensia is only available under veterinary prescription, as the use of the product (by subcutaneous injection, once a month) requires professional monitoring and the dose is calculated according to the weight of the animal. (I)