Friday 5 May 2023

US Food and Drug Administration approve a drug for cats with anaemia due to kidney disease

Chronic kidney disease may decrease a cat's ability to produce red blood cells which can lead to anaemia. This impairs the cat's ability to transport oxygen around their body. Their gums may appear pale pink or whitish in colour and the disease make them lethargic. It can lead to euthanasia or death.

It's reported that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a drug to treat this form of anaemia which is caused by chronic kidney disease. The drug is called Varenzin-CA1.

It's been granted a one-year conditional approval. This means it can be used while the FDA finish collecting effectiveness data.

The sponsor of the drug will need to show that it is effective in order to achieve full approval. They will be given for annual renewals to continue with the drug but if the requirements are not met after five years the product will be removed from the market.

I'm told that this is the first drug to receive conditional approval for use in domestic cat. That comes from the FDA.

The disease is called non-regenerative anaemia. It is triggered when the cat's bone marrow does not produce enough red cells to replace older red cells which as mentioned creates an oxygen deficiency.

We know that chronic kidney disease is common in older cats. It is often a cause of death. I'll presume that non-regenerative anaemia is an associated cause of death.

The drug works to increase production of a hormone secreted by the kidneys, erythropoietin, which stimulates bone marrow to produce red blood cells.

It is given orally and was evaluated in a two-phase study on 24 cats aged between 4-17 of different breeds and random bred cats.

It is given once daily for 28 days and it can be given in a second session of 28 days with a minimum seven-day interval. It can be received through prescription by a licensed veterinarian.

Potential side-effects are blood clots, vomiting and increases in systolic blood pressure as reported by the FDA.

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