Zürich Switzerland 19th of March 2019 – Saiba Animal Health AG today announced the publication of proof of principle data for a vaccine with the potential to translate into a novel therapy for osteoarthritic pain in companion animals. The data were published online 12th of March 2019 in an article entitled “Active immunisation targeting nerve growth factor attenuates chronic pain behaviour in murine osteoarthritis” in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
A research collaboration between Martin Bachmann’s research groups at the Jenner Institute University of Oxford and University of Bern and academic researchers from the Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology University of Oxford and Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Center demonstrated the successful development and testing of a VLP-based vaccine with the potential to treat chronic pain caused by osteoarthritis. The virus-like particle vaccine triggers the immune system to produce antibodies that block the activity of nerve growth factor – a key mediator of inflammatory and chronic pain.
Professor Martin Bachmann CSO of Saiba Animal Health AG commented, “I am happy to see the vaccine platform perform so well, and look forward to seeing the vaccine enter clinical testing in companion animals in the near future”.
The Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases (ARD) is an international peer review journal committed to promoting the highest standards of scientific exchange and education. It covers all aspects of rheumatology, which includes the spectrum of musculoskeletal conditions, arthritic disease, and connective tissue disorders. ARD publishes basic, clinical, and translational scientific research. (https://ard.bmj.com/pages/about/?gclid=CjwKCAjw96fkBRA2EiwAKZjFTYm1MdJz6vmNZAGtS5Vjn2J54nbErLTptXKsfjkQz5ud6h36ZpCnwxoCn_gQAvD_BwE)
About pain and osteoarthritis
Effective and safe treatment of chronic pain associated with degenerative joint disease and cancer in companion animals is a major unmet need in veterinary medicine. The incidence of such diseases is increasing as companion animals age and live longer. As an example, mostly dogs but also cats and horses are affected by degenerative joint diseases. About 20% of dogs will develop osteoarthritis. The mainstays of current treatment are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, however, they are not sufficiently effective, have side effects and suffer convenience and compliance issues. Therefore, the need for new treatment options is significant. Experimental and clinical studies have identified a number of key molecules that mediate inflammatory and neuropathic pain and cancer pain. One of these molecules, nerve growth factor (NGF), is an ideal target for controlling pain using antibody based therapies. Indeed, in humans, dogs and cats, efficacy and safety have been demonstrated in with monoclonal antibodies that target NGF or its receptor.