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Equine Ulcer Drug Performs Well in Study

Jaguar Animal Health says SB-300 shows great potential.

Many performance horses suffer from colonic or gastric ulcers.

AVMA

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A proof-of-concept study conducted by Jaguar Animal Health revealed that one of the company’s investigational new animal drugs, code-named SB-300, may be a faster and more effective treatment for glandular ulcers in horses.

Equine gastric ulcer syndrome (EGUS) is commonly treated with omeprazole, but the drug may remain in a horse’s system for up to three days, a potential violation if a performance or race horse is required to be drug-free near the time of competition.

Jaguar’s SB-300, which is made from a botanical extract of the Croton lechleri tree, is minimally absorbed within the gut, said CEO and President Lisa Conte, MS, MBA.

“We intend to demonstrate that SB-300 is not systemically absorbed in horses, thereby providing a treatment regimen that can continue without mandatory withdrawal prior to competition,” Conte said. “Moreover, we also aim to demonstrate that SB-300 can be administered in the presence of feed, another constraint of omeprazole administration.”

Jaguar’s blinded, randomized study looked at 30 standardbred or thoroughbred racehorses suffering from both non-glandular and glandular gastric ulcerations. Broken into three groups, the horses were either administered water-filled syringes every six hours, 5 grams of SB-300 divided into two doses a day, or 40 grams of SB-300 split into four doses a day.

Seventy-eight percent of the 5-gram group and 89 percent of the 40-gram group showed improvement or resolution of glandular ulcers, and some in as little as 14 days, the company announced Feb. 16. Horses given omeprazole improved 14 to 34 percent of the time when treated for a recommended 28 days, according to previous studies cited by Jaguar.

All the SB-300 horses showed positive results by Day 35.

Among the placebo group, 75 percent showed improvement or resolution by Day 35, a sign that “SB-300 appears to help ulcerations improve or resolve more rapidly,” operations director Peter Hodge said.

The investigative drug had little or no effect on gastric pH levels, the company reported.

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“Treatments for EGUS that do not alter gastric pH are important because maintaining low gastric pH is essential for digestion, for gut immunity and first-line defense against pathogens, for the absorption of vitamins and minerals, and for potentially other downstream effects,” Conte said.

Ulcers are common in equine athletes. Fifty-five percent of performance horses that took part in a study published in 2005 in the Journal of Equine Veterinary Science suffered from both colonic and gastric ulcers, Jaguar noted. Ninety-seven percent were diagnosed with one or the other.

Possible causes of gastic ulcers include stall confinement, stress, intermittent feeding, an over-reliance on grain in place of grazing, intense exercise and the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, Jaguar reported.

In other news, the San Francisco company this month netted $4.6 million in the sale of 2 million shares of stock. The money will help fund “company operations through the anticipated commercial launch of Canalevia for chemotherapy-induced diarrhea in dogs,” Jaguar stated.

Canalevia contains crofelemer, an anti-secretory ingredient from the Croton lechleri tree, and is awaiting U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval as a prescription product.

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