USDA grants conditional license to Zoetis for canine anti-itch therapy

Zoetis ($ZTS) has received a conditional license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture for its antibody therapy to treat atopic dermatitis in dogs.

The therapy, called Canine Atopic Dermatitis Immunotherapeutic, uses antibodies that specifically target and neutralize interleukin-31, which is a key protein that triggers the itch signal to the brain, the company said in a press release. The treatment is administered as once-a-month subcutaneous injection and provides relief from itching to dogs of any age.

The regulatory agency has said at the current time, all biological products used to treat canine dermatitis are to be considered only for conditional licensure, but Zoetis said it is working the the USDA to obtain full licensure.

"By helping to relieve itching and the clinical signs associated with atopic dermatitis in affected dogs, it will also help restore quality of life for both atopic dogs and the people who love them," Thomas Lewis II, a veterinarian who participated in the clinical studies for the treatment, said in a statement.

Atopic dermatitis is one of the most frequent complaints of pet owners, the company said, affecting about one in 6 dogs whose owners seek veterinary help. The itching can be triggered by a number of factors, including infections, otitis and parasites. Between 15% and 20% of itchy dogs are typically diagnosed with atopic dermatitis.

- see the release