The Animal Referral Hospital is recruiting dogs with B cell lymphoma for a Phase IIb trial evaluating a newly formulated anti-cancer drug Monepantel (MPL), by biotech company PharmAust, shown to be safe and effective for dogs that have not undergone any treatment for this cancer.
Lymphoma is a common cancer diagnosed in dogs and currently there’s no cure for B cell lymphoma. Lymphoma symptoms can include swellings (enlarged lymph nodes), lethargy, weight loss and loss of appetite.
Chief Scientific Officer of PharmAust, Dr Richard Mollard said: “So far, the initial trials in pet dogs with cancer have proven successful.
“We have shown that the new tablet – when given to dogs at home by their owners – can give very good anticancer outcomes while exerting minimal side effects.”
Currently, the best indicated treatment option is chemotherapy, which comes with quite severe adverse events, and unfortunately, relapse can occur within six to 12 months.
“Monepantel is comparatively very gentle. If this trial is a success, PharmAust will embark on a larger Phase III trial,” said Dr Mollard. “Going forward, owners of pet dogs with B cell lymphoma will then be given a greater choice of treatment options for their dogs.”
Phase IIb trial criteria include:
• Any stage of lymphoma (based on physical exam)
• Substage A (feeling well)
• Immunophenotype can be pending but must be submitted, and needs to be B-cell based on clinical characteristics
• No previous treatment in the previous 8 weeks, including corticosteroids (prednisolone)
• No other significant concurrent medical problems
• Good quality of life
• The dog should weigh more than 11kg.
Owners will have to transport their dogs to ARH in Homebush and pay the cost for initial consultation for diagnosis. Once the pet is diagnosed with lymphoma, PharmAust will cover all clinical trial costs, including travel expenses to and from the ARH.
The MPL tablets will be administered at home and owners will be asked to keep a simple logbook during the trial period. PharmAust will continue to supply tablets post trial if requested by the pet dog owner and administering veterinarians.
Pet owners interested in enrolling their dog in the MPL trial need to contact their veterinarian for a referral to the ARH. Veterinarians enquiring about patient referrals or trial sites can also contact Dr Richard Mollard at rmollard@ pharmaust.com if further information is required.