Zoetis launches osteoarthritis drugs LIBRELA® and SOLENSIA® in Europe

Zoetis has announced the launch of LIBRELA® (bedinvetmab) and SOLENSIA® (frunevetmab) in Europe, which are the first products in a new class of medications for the management of osteoarthritis (OA) pain in dogs and cats in 20 years. The new osteoarthritis products will be available to vets in the European union, United Kingdom and Switzerland in May.

Advancements in treatment of osteoarthritis

Globally, osteoarthritic pain impacts almost 40% of cats and dogs suffering from the condition1,2, with NSAIDs being one of the most common treatment options2. Although effective, administering NSAIDs comes with limitations.

Some dogs and cats may have concurrent conditions that require administration of several medications, and some may not be able to tolerate NSAIDs as a result of other conditions. There are also issues with owner compliance and difficulty in administering NSAIDs in some patients.

Mike McFarland, DVM, Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at Zoetis, explains: “This can lead to under-treatment of OA pain. With Solensia for cats and Librela for dogs, veterinarians will now have access to once-monthly breakthrough solutions for the management of pain associated with osteoarthritis – offering a new alternative to veterinarians to improve the quality of life for pets and their owners.”

Nerve Growth Factors: how do the drugs work in treating OA pain?

Librela (bedinvetmab) and Solensia (frunevetmab) work by targeting Nerve Growth Factors (NGF), which have key involvement in OA pain2. As monoclonal antibodies, they are eliminated by the body in the same way as naturally occurring proteins, with minimal involvement of the liver or the kidney4.

Undertreated OA pain can limit quality of life

“OA pain can affect cats in various ways, often impairing their ability to perform daily activities such as jumping and playing, which negatively impacts their quality of life,” explains Margaret E. Gruen, DVM, MVPH, PhD, DACVB, Assistant Professor of Behavioral Medicine at North Carolina State University.

Solensia aims to alleviate that pain and improve cats’ physical activity of levels and overall quality of life. The new product aims to provide effective pain relief through monthly injectable treatment, which eliminates any issues with owner compliance of medicating at home.

In a clinical study over three months, a total of 76% of cat owners reported sustained improvement in signs of pain when their cats were treated with Solensia3.

Librela, which is designed as a monthly injection for dogs, was found to demonstrate a reduction in OA pain when compared to placebo-controlled dogs, with pet owners noticing a reduction in pain and increase in physical activity levels.

Librela and Solensia as part of a multi-modal treatment for OA

OA is a progressive disease in dogs and cats. “The best approach to therapy includes analgesics, weight management and exercise. It’s important that veterinarians work with pet owners on a multi-modal approach to support the care of the animal,” added Dr. McFarland.

For more information about Librela and Solensia and full prescribing information, refer to Solensia EU SPC and Librela EU SPC.

Visit the Zoetis website for more information.

Read more articles on Zoetis here.

1.  Foster Rosenblatt Veterinarian MR 2020

2. Enomoto M, Mantyh PW, Murrell J, et al. Anti-nerve growth factor monoclonal antibodies for the control of pain in dogs and cats. Vet Rec. 2019;184(1):23.

3.  Solensia SPC

4. Keizer RJ, Huitema AD, Schellens JH, Beijnen JH. Clinical pharmacokinetics of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. Clin Pharmacokinet. 2010;49(8):493-507.