Aratana nearing goal of third FDA approval this year


Hoping to continue its regulatory good fortune, Aratana has completed an FDA submission for its post-surgical pain drug for dogs, Nocita (bupivacaine). If approved, the therapy would be Aratana’s third to be endorsed this year by the agency.

Nocita is designed to help dogs deal with post-operative pain from cranial cruciate ligament procedures for up to 72 hours. If approved, Leawood, KS-based Aratana ($PETX) anticipates beginning marketing the therapeutic late this year, according to a press release from the company.

Nocita is Aratana’s last in a three-part market push for the company. Last month, the FDA gave its thumbs up to the company’s appetite stimulator for dogs--branded Entyce (capromorelin)--which followed a move months earlier to grant Galliprant (grapiprant) for canine osteoarthritis market approval. Aratana will sell Galliprant in partnership with Eli Lilly’s Elanco unit.

Aratana’s newest Nocita development comes after the company in February received its second of three “section complete” letters for the treatment. As a result of the continued progress, investors have taken an upbeat tune, sending shares up nearly 5% on Thursday to $7.53--nearly three times higher than its February low.

As it shifts to a commercial enterprise, Aratana will now look to sequence its rollouts to broaden the reach of its meds. But the shift from R&D house to commercial enterprise has been an expensive one for Aratana: In March, the company reported that its net loss in 2015 had nearly doubled to $84.1 million.

- here's the release