Aratana meets with several hundred veterinarians and veterinary staff at their IVECCS 2014 exhibit booth, at an exclusive Aratana Therapeutics reception and during an early morning breakfast to inform and educate the veterinary community on the novel therapeutics they are bringing to veterinary medicine.
On the exhibit floor, beginning on Thursday, we met and talked with dozens of pet health professionals who stopped by our booth. Veterinarians and veterinary staff learned more about the unique therapeutics Aratana is bringing from human biopharmaceuticals to veterinary medicine through our Medical Science Liaisons and the interactive engagement table.
We also surveyed many veterinarians and veterinary staff who shared their own beliefs on the biggest areas of unmet or underserved needs in pet medicine for their practices. Initial results from the surveys we conducted at the booth show long-term pain management and cancer products were some of the top of mind areas of concern among many IVECCS attendees, making what Aratana is bringing to the market an even more compelling story for them.
At the close of the second day on Friday we ended with an evening reception. Hosted by the Aratana Therapeutics team, attendees learned about the Aratana business model and received a preview to some of the exciting, innovative products that are in the Aratana pipeline for development.
Early on the third day of the meeting, Aratana sponsored a breakfast symposium, Duncan Lascelles, BSc, BVSc, PhD, CertVA, DSAS(ST), DECVS, DACVS, Professor of Small Animal Surgery, North Carolina State University, College of Veterinary Medicine discussed the unmet need in extended post-operative pain management for pets, and presented the concept of AT-003 as a potentially safe and effective, long-acting local anesthetic, based on its success as an FDA-approved product for use in humans and its preclinical safety profile in dogs and other animals. This bupivacaine extended-release injectable suspension (AT-003) aims to help manage post-operative pain in cats and dogs following surgery. Efficacy and safety studies are underway in dogs and cats and the target animal safety was submitted to FDA CVM in 2014. A recently reported pilot clinical study showed successful pain levels assessed over 72 hours following stifle surgery (CMPS-SF) and treatment with AT-003 resulted in statistically significant reduction in mean total pain scores over time compared to the placebo (p < 0.05). Aratana anticipates getting U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2016 and is initiating a pilot study in laboratory cats in 2014.
In the second half of the breakfast symposium, Medical Science Liaison, Kristin Kirkby Shaw, DVM, MS, PhD, DACVS, DACVSMR, discussed various categories of pain drugs and their specific mechanisms of action. She presented information on the piprant class of therapeutics, a new chemical classification, and the therapeutic candidate grapiprant (AT-001), which is in clinical development for treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) pain in dogs and cats. AT-001 selectively blocks the prostaglandin E2 receptor EP4. Aratana has initiated a pivotal field effectiveness study of grapiprant in client-owned dogs with a once-daily dose and continues to anticipate FDA approval in 2016. Aratana also anticipates starting a pilot field study in client-owned cats in 2014.
We had a very successful meeting at the IVECCS 2014 in Indianapolis. And, we are looking forward to meeting even more veterinary professionals at the upcoming Veterinary Cancer Society meeting in St. Louis and the ACVS Conference in San Diego, both in October. Keep an eye on Aratana Therapeutics as we explore new beginnings for pets and the families who love them.