Veterinary Highlights: Nerve Growth Factor Antibodies To Alleviate Pain In Arthritic Dogs Study Seeks Participants

NC State University aims to evaluate the pain-alleviating effects of nerve growth factor antibody (NV-01) in dogs suffering from osteoarthritis-associated pain and are currently accepting participants.

What is a growth factor?

Growth factor is a biological substance, such as a vitamin or a hormone, required for the stimulation of growth in living cells. In case of nerve growth factors (NGF),  they also seem to play role in activation/sensitization of pain receptors.

What is an antibody?

An antibody is blood protein produced as part of the immune system function.

What antibodies do is that they attach themselves to the antigen, preventing it from interacting with healthy cells, and marking it for destruction. If you imagine that an the antigen has little claws, by which it grabs onto the cell, the antibodies grasps these claws. With its hands full, the antigen can no longer interact with the cells.

How does it all fit together?

With the premise that the nerve growth factors stimulate the pain receptors, the interactions would be similar. The antibodies then should serve as a plug, preventing the nerve growth factors from stimulating the pain receptors. You cannot go and pinch somebody, if you have your hands full.

Similar studies are done in humans, now dogs get their turn too.

It's an intriguing concept.

This is a blinded, placebo controlled, pilot study. 24 dogs will be recruited.

The medication will administered once with an expected duration of effect of several weeks.

The study will cover the cost of the examination, hospitalization, blood work and urinalysis, radiographs, and study drug. No other financial incentives are offered for participation.


For eligibility and more information see:
Nerve Growth Factor Study

or contact Comparative Pain Research Laboratory at North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine (919) 513-6853 or email