Merial Wins Feline Immunotherapy License

Delaying post-surgical recurrence of fibrosarcomas in adult cats may be possible with a new immunomodulator.

The standard of care for treatment of fibrosarcomas in cats includes early and aggressive surgery and often radiation therapy.

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A protein-based immunotherapy for cats recovering from fibrosarcoma surgery received a conditional license from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, developer Merial Ltd. reported today.

The first-of-its-kind treatment, called Feline Interleukin-2 Immunomodulator, is indicated to delay the post-surgical recurrence of fibrosarcomas in adult cats with Stage 1 disease, the company stated.

“When administered in proximity of a tumor, Interleukin-2 stimulates immune responses involved in the rejection of tumors in cancer patients,” Merial noted. “In a European field study, safety and reasonable expectation of efficacy of Feline Interleukin-2 Immunomodulator was demonstrated by administration of the immunotherapy and observation of the time for recurrence after surgery and radiotherapy.”

The immunomodulator was granted a U.S. Veterinary Biological Product conditional license. Additional potency and efficacy tests are underway, according to Duluth, Ga.-based Merial.

Robert Menardi, DVM, Merial’s director of Veterinary Technical Solutions, called the immunotherapy “an option that serves an unmet need for a very serious health condition in cats.”

Fibrosarcomas are aggressive malignant tumors that often return in cats after surgery and radiation.

“Having this conditional license will enable us to work closely with veterinary oncologists to further monitor the efficacy of Feline Interleukin-2 Immunomodulator and better understand treatment needs,” Dr. Menardi said.

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