Chronic pain affects many dogs and cats, and is a common symptom of conditions such as osteoarthritis and cancer. Both of these conditions are more likely to occur as a pet ages, and as the pet population is aging in general, the need for long-term pain management options is expected to increase. Nexvet has delivered a significant amount of clinical data supporting the blocking of nerve growth factor (NGF) in dogs, cats and horses as a way of controlling osteoarthritic pain, a pathway that has also been validated in humans in multiple phase II and III human clinical trials. Nexvet has two anti-NGF mAbs in late-stage development as monthly subcutaneous injectables: ranevetmab for dogs, and NV-02 for cats.
Immuno-oncology is an approach to fighting cancer that revolves around activating the immune system to attack tumors. Up to a quarter of dogs die of cancer, and its incidence is higher in older dogs. This approach has shown long-lasting efficacy in multiple human tumor types, making it an exciting line of investigation for Nexvet in canine cancer. In human medicine, blocking the interactions of PD-1 and PD-L1 has resulted in approved therapies, such as Opdivo® (nivolumab) and Keytruda® (pembrolizumab), with attractive safety profiles that demonstrate efficacy against multiple tumor types. These advancements have led to immuno-oncology (also called cancer immunotherapy) being hailed as a breakthrough for oncology, and a major investment target. The first human PD-1 inhibitor received regulatory approval in late 2014, and PD-1 inhibitors alone are predicted to achieve human sales of approximately $14 billion by 2020.
Chronic inflammation is seen in a variety of diseases in both dogs and cats, including irritable bowel disease, chronic kidney disease, and a wide variety of skin conditions. These can significantly impact quality-of-life and have symptoms distressing for both pet and theirs owner. Nexvet is investigating blocking tumor necrosis factor (TNF) in dogs and cats as a way of suppressing inflammation, a pathway that is the basis for several of the best-selling drugs in human healthcare including Remicade and Humira. The anti-TNF class of drugs are among the best-selling human pharmaceuticals, accounting for over $31 billion in sales in 2015.
Allergy is a complex immune phenomenon responsible for a wide range of reactions to various stimuli. A significant proportion of atopic dermatitis cases (which are responsible for approximately 10% of vet visits) are related to allergies. Nexvet is investigating new mAbs to undisclosed biologic targets for dogs and cats that have been validated in human allergic disease.