Veterinary industry representatives unveiled a number of new products and services for the profession during the 2013 Western Veterinary Conference in Las Vegas Feb. 17-21. Here are the highlights uncovered by the dvm360 content team:
Transmucosal meloxicam for dogs
Abbott Animal Health has received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for OroCAM (meloxicam) Transmucosal Oral Spray, a veterinary nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug with transmucosal oral delivery for the control of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis in dogs. The spray is administered via a gentle mist onto the dog’s gums or inner cheek, where it is absorbed into the bloodstream. This form of delivery alleviates the typical problems associated with pain medication administration, including improper swallowing or digestion, uneaten treated food, spit-out pills and the risk of other household pets ingesting medication, Abbott officials say.
OroCAM is administered by lifting the corner of the dog’s mouth and gently pulling it away from the gums, opening the cheek space. Then the tip of the applicator is placed just inside the cheek space (directed toward the back of the cheek space) and, with the bottle and pump held upright, the spray head is pressed with special care that no spray escapes from the mouth.
Generic cefpodoxime proxetil
Putney, a pharmaceutical company focused on generic prescription medicines for pets, has launched cefpodoxime proxetil tablets, the generic equivalent of Zoetis’s Simplicef. Putney's cefpodoxime proxetil is FDA-approved to treat certain skin infections in dogs. According to a study by IMS Health, generics now account for more than 80 percent of human prescriptions filled in the United States, resulting in a savings of $3 billion every week for American consumers. By contrast, only 7 percent of FDA-approved medicines for dogs and cats have a veterinary generic equivalent. Putney’s cefpodoxime proxetil tablets are available in once-a-day 100-mg and 200-mg doses and will cost at least 25 percent less to veterinarians than the branded product.
Canine mammary cancer treatment
Bioniche Life Sciences, a Canadian biopharmaceutical company, launched its Immunocidin canine oncology therapy in October 2012 but highlighted the product for general veterinary practitioners during the 2013 WVC. Immunocidin, an immunotherapy for the intratumoral treatment of mixed mammary tumor and mammary adenocarcinoma in dogs, is based a proprietary mycobacterial cell wall technology. A recent Bioniche survey of U.S. veterinarians showed that mammary carcinoma is the third-most-common cancer seen, with an average of 2 cases per month. Immunocidin does not require special handling as other chemotherapeutic agents do, making it accessible to general practitioners to treat this form of cancer in their own clinics, either alone or in conjunction with other therapies.
Through the course of development of Immunocidin and its human equivalent Urocidin for human bladder cancer, the mycobacterial cell wall technology was extensively tested in a number of human and canine cancer cell lines, including bladder, ovarian, colon, gastric and breast cancer, as well as osteosarcoma, where it was shown to possess direct anticancer activity with apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells. Product developers are anticipating approval of the treatment for other forms of cancer in coming years.
Pet insurance claim pre-approval service
Pets Best Insurance has launched its 24/7 Claim Pre-Approval service, which will provide Pets Best customers with round-the-clock access to Pets Best team members with the ability to preauthorize claims for veterinary treatments. The service helps pet owners verify what is covered and how much is covered by their pet insurance plan when an accident or illness occurs—especially crucial in emergency situations to help clients select from their treatment options, Pets Best officials say. To start the 24/7 Claim Pre-Approval process, a policyholder calls Pets Best Insurance anytime day or night. Pets Best also offers direct-to-veterinarian reimbursement and direct deposit reimbursement for pet owners.
Apocaps, from Functional Nutriments, is a nutraceutical designed to enhance quality of life and longevity as a standalone palliative supplement or as part of a comprehensive care program in dogs diagnosed with cancer. Apocaps induces apoptosis (cancer cell “suicide”) through a formulation of apoptogens that include luteolin, apigenin, curcumin, silymarin and gingerols. Peer-reviewed publications have shown these apoptogens promote direct anti-cancer effects in vivo and are highly safe for use. The ingredients in Apocaps work on multi-target pathways to induce apoptosis at multiple sites, and since cancer cell DNA is unstable and mutates away from cell death, multiple molecular targets increase the likelihood of apoptosis. Apocaps works synergistically with existing therapies such as chemotherapy and radiation. It has been used in thousands of dogs in the US and internationally since 2010 after having been developed through the support of a National Institutes of Health grant.
Nutrocept is a nutraceutical manufactured by Functional Nutriments offering aging cells daily support in a highly palatable, easy-to-administer powder. Nutrocept’s formula of apoptogens includes luteolin, curcumin, silymarin and gingerols. Research has shown these apoptogens promote direct anti-neoplastic effects in vivo and are highly safe for use. In addition to apoptogens, Nutrocept also includes antioxidants, glucosamine, vitamins and minerals, probiotics and prebiotics.