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Aratana begins developing AT-019 to build on EP4 base


Sep 17, 2018 - AnimalPharm

By Joseph Harvey

Aratana Therapeutics is progressing R&D work on a candidate that targets the prostaglandin EP4 receptor.

The firm already sells Galliprant (grapiprant tablets) – a first-in-class prostaglandin receptor antagonist for the control of pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis in dogs.

However, the company has also started early development work on AT-019. This is an EP4 receptor antagonist therapeutic candidate "with potential in pain, inflammation and other indications". The candidate was licenced from Japanese firm AskAt earlier this year.

Aratana's president and chief executive Steven St. Peter said: "We don't think the whole story around EP4 from either a clinical or commercial perspective has been written. In fact, certainly in human health, a first-in class therapeutic does not end up as the only in-class therapeutic. Given our expertise in EP4 from a regulatory, clinical and commercial perspective, we continue to move this product forward."

Speaking at CL King's 16th Annual Best Ideas Conference in New York, Dr St. Peter said the company is progressing the manufacturing of AT-019 to establish the dosing. Aratana is advancing the candidate in a similar way to the route taken by Galliprant.

AskAt has conducted several pre-clinical studies for AT-019's safety, potency and toxicity compared to grapiprant. Aratana claims this data shows "promising initial indicators".

Dr St. Peter reminded conference delegates: "For our commercially-available therapeutics, the path to regulatory approval can take four to six years and includes: pilot work; establishing a clinical dose; securing supply; and target animal safety and pivotal efficacy studies."

Aratana is currently poised for its first sales in Europe. Elanco has exclusive rights to develop, manufacture, market and commercialize Galliprant globally. Dr St. Peter said Aratana is awaiting Elanco to launch Galliprant in Europe.

Last month, Aratana extended its product portfolio by gaining US FDA approval of a label extension for Nocita to include cats. 

Reprinted with permission of Animal Pharm News

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