EMA has authorised the first veterinary medicinal product based on a monoclonal antibody. Cytopoint will be used for the treatment of atopic dermatitis in dogs.
Atopic dermatitis is associated with allergy that, in turn, frequently depends on environmental factors, such as Acari or pollens. Whenever the skin of a dog becomes injured due to scratching and friction caused by itching, there may develop bacterial and yeasty infections within its structure. Cytopoint assists the treatment of atopic dermatitis in dogs and prevents further complications. It uses an active substance names lokivetmab and is available in the form of a solution for injection that is injected under the skin once a given month. The dose that should be applied depends on the weight of a dog subject to such treatment. Cytopoint becomes effective within eight hours since injection while its effect lasts up to 28 days. The medicine is only obtainable upon a prescription.
Lokivetmab used here is nothing else but a monoclonal antibody which both recognises interleukin-31 and becomes attached to it. Interleukin-31 itself is a protein that plays a significant part in bringing about atopic dermatitis in dogs. Lokkivetmab reduces skin itching (up to 52% after 28 days) and cases of inflammation by blocking interleukin-31. The research was carried out on a group of a considerable size, constituted by said disease-affected dogs ? 142 of them would receive Cytopoint each month, while 132 would have their treatment based on ciclosporin. The new product has turned out to be as effective as the commonly applied therapy. The observed side effects have been related to allergic reactions (swollen mouth) and it has been officially reckoned that they may refer to 1 per each 1000 of cases. Certain sources also report the risk of diarrhoea, sickness or drowsiness as present in 6 to 10% of pets. The use of this medicine, however, has certain limitations. It should not be applied to dogs of weight lower than 3 kg. The price of a single injection oscillates between USD 60 and 100, depending on the region.