Clinical study of drug to relieve arthritic pain in cats seeks participants

Dr. Katherine Christensen, DMV, Special to WiG

Osteoarthritis is a common disease in humans and animals alike. Though there are several FDA-approved products available for humans and dogs, cats have been left behind.

Some products exist, but they have shortcomings, including the need for daily administration, adverse side effects and lack of evidence proving long-term efficacy and safety.

Nexvet, a pharmaceutical company specializing in biologics, is partnering with The Cat Doctor, 236 N. Water St., Milwaukee, to study the effectiveness and safety of Frunevetmab, a drug for controlling pain in cats with osteoarthritis. Participation in the study is of no cost to you and, if you and your cat complete the study, there is a bonus at the end to recognize your important work.

Frunevetmab, or NV-02, uses biologics, naturally occurring proteins rather than traditional pharmaceuticals, which are chemically synthesized. NV-02 inhibits nerve growth factor, one of the body’s main pain mediators. It is 100 percent species-specific, meaning it is designed for cats. It’s felinized!

NV-O2’s specificity for cats minimizes the likelihood of immune-mediated side effects, since the feline system recognizes it as a “native” product.

One of the major concerns with the limited options of existing pain medications is damage to the liver or kidneys. Since NV-02 is not metabolized by either of those organ systems, such adverse effects are unlikely.

In an initial study, NV-02 showed a statistically significant increase in efficacy when compared to a placebo. No adverse side effects were observed. The current protocol uses monthly injections, so no fuss at home is required.

If your cat shows signs of slowing down or discomfort, contact The Cat Doctor to learn more about participating in the study. Any age, sex or breed of cat over 6 months of age could be eligible.

The study begins with a screening process to determine the cat’s eligibility, followed by several months of participation in a double-blinded protocol to evaluate the drug’s effectiveness.

Even if your cat is found ineligible after screening, you will have access to initial baseline diagnostics at no cost. Baseline diagnostics are invaluable and represent the gold standard of medicine for any aging cat, with or without osteoarthritis.

We would love to meet you and your feline friend! To learn more, call 414-272-2287.