A Feline-Specific Anti-Nerve Growth Factor Antibody Improves Mobility in Cats with Degenerative Joint Disease-Associated Pain: A Pilot Proof of Concept Study

M.E. Gruen, A.E. Thomson, E.H. Griffith, H. Paradise, D.P. Gearing, B.D.X. Lascelles

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45 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Neutralizing antibodies against nerve growth factor (NGF) are analgesic in rodent models, naturally occurring degenerative joint disease (DJD) pain in dogs, and chronic pain in humans.OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the efficacy of a fully felinized anti-NGF antibody (NV-02) for the treatment of DJD pain and mobility impairment in cats.ANIMALS: Thirty-four client-owned cats with DJD-associated pain and mobility impairment.METHODS: In a placebo-controlled, pilot, masked clinical study, cats were randomized to a single treatment with NV-02 (0.4 mg/kg SC [n = 11] or 0.8 mg/kg SC [n = 12]) or placebo (saline, SC [n = 11]). Activity was measured objectively. Additionally, owners completed clinical metrology instruments (client-specific outcome measures [CSOM] and feline musculoskeletal pain index [FMPI]) on days 0 (screening), 14 (baseline), 35, 56, and 77. A repeated-measures model was used to evaluate the objective activity data.RESULTS: NV-02 significantly increased objectively measured activity overall (P = .017) and at 2 (P = .035), 3 (P = .007), 4 (P = .006), 5 (P = .007), and 6 (P = .017) weeks after treatment. CSOM scores (P = .035) and pain (P = .024) showed a significant effect of treatment 3 weeks after administration. In the treatment group, 83% of the owners correctly identified the treatment administered compared with 45% of owners in the placebo group (P = .013). No treatment-related adverse effects were identified.CONCLUSIONS: These pilot data demonstrate a 6-week duration positive analgesic effect of this fully felinized anti-NGF antibody in cats suffering from DJD-associated pain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1138-1148
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Client-specific outcome measures
  • Feline musculoskeletal pain index
  • Osteoarthritis

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