Friday, August 7, 2015

Veterinary Highlights: New Anti-Itch Immunotherapy?

A new therapy for atopic dermatitis by Zoetis Inc. should become available to veterinary dermatologists specialists this fall.

Zoetis is the company behind Apoquel which seems to work quite well but there have been issues with its availability because of unresolved production issues. The company is not accepting new orders.

I think it's pretty sad to come up with a successful treatment, introduce it to the market, and then be unable to produce it. Particularly since many dogs found relief while on it.

The new treatment, Canine Atopic Dermatitis Immunotherapeutic, is an antibody therapy, which is supposed to switch off the itch.

The antibody used in the treatment neutralizes a type of signaling molecule, interleukin-31,  involved in the communication between the immune system and the brain to trigger scratching. This is a recently discovered cytokine (signaling molecule) associated with chronic skin inflammation and itchiness.

If I had an itchy dog, I'd be watching this very closely.

The two questions that remain to be answered as I see it are how safe neutralizing this cytokine is, meaning whether it serves other purposes than triggering itchiness, and whether or not the company will be able to actually have the product available this time.

Source article:
Zoetis Reveals Anti-Itch Therapy for Dogs

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