Effective and safe treatment of chronic pain associated with degenerative joint disease and cancer in companion animals is a major unmet need in veterinary medicine. The incidence of such diseases will increase as companion animals age. As an example, mostly dogs but also cats and horses are affected by degenerative joint diseases. About 20% of dogs will develop osteoarthritis. The mainstays of current treatment are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and pain medications, however, they are not sufficiently effective, have side effects and suffer convenience and compliance issues. Therefore, the need for new treatment options is significant. Experimental and clinical studies have identified a number of key molecules that mediate inflammatory and neuropathic pain and cancer pain. These molecules are ideal targets for controlling pain using antibody based therapies. Indeed, in humans, efficacy and safety have been demonstrated in with monoclonal antibodies that target these pain mediators. Such molecules also represent ideal targets for our virus-like particle vaccine technology.
HypoPet's vaccine approach offers significant advantages over monoclonal antibody-based therapies for companion animals. Our VLP vaccines will not induce anti-drug antibodies, as is the case with monoclonal antibodies, because the patient's body is orchestrated to make its own antibodies. Moreover, vaccines are less expensive due to lower cost of goods for production, lower doses and less frequent dosing. Hence vaccines enable more flexible pricing options for pet owners and insurers and provide significant advantages in convenience and compliance to the consumer.
HypoPet has launched vaccine projects HP007, HP008 and HP009, targeting key biological molecules that drive canine, feline and equine inflammatory pain and are currently undergoing lead optimization.