By Malcolm Flanagan
March 14, 2017
UK animal health company Dechra Veterinary Products has launched a new treatment to support veterinarians in the management of canine epilepsy.
The Northwich, Cheshire-headquartered firm has released Soliphen as a first line treatment for the neurological dog problem. Soliphen contains phenobarbital, an anti-epileptic "which is well tolerated and effective as a monotherapy in 60-80% of dogs with idiopathic epilepsy". The product is initially being released in the UK and Europe.
Dechra said epilepsy cannot be controlled with phenobarbital alone in up to 40% of dogs. For the more challenging refractory epilepsy cases, Dechra's potassium bromide, which contains Libromide, is licensed to be used alongside Soliphen as a concurrent therapy.
The combination of phenobarbital and potassium bromide has been shown to reduce seizure number and severity in dogs with refractory idiopathic epilepsy. In Dechra tests, the combination treatment reduced the mean seizure rate from 27.4 seizures per month to 2.2 seizures.
Dechra brand manager Craig Sankey said: "Epilepsy is the most common chronic canine neurological disorder, affecting around 0.62% of dogs. It can be a distressing condition for both the animal and its owner so we are launching a therapy that can reduce the number of seizures in even the most challenging cases.
"We have also produced new guidelines for prescribing vets, detailing step by step how the treatments can act alone or concurrently. We believe using Soliphen as a sole therapy or in conjunction with Libromide will make a positive contribution to veterinary professionals in their ongoing treatment and management of dogs with epilepsy."
Other companies have also entered the underserved market for canine epilepsy. In January 2016, Irish animal health company Chanelle launched a generic for the control of canine epilepsy in Europe.
The Epityl 60mg flavored tablets for dogs (phenobarbital) features 'snap' technology, which allows the product to be halved and quartered for accurate dosing. According to Chanelle's founder and managing director Michael Burke, compliance and dosage are paramount with an anti-epileptic drug. "Epilepsy is a life-long condition and phenobarbital is still reported to be one of the safest and widely used pharmaceuticals for the condition," he said.
In December last year, Swedish firm Panion Animal Health gained exclusive rights to develop a gene therapy for epilepsy in companion animals. Lund-based Panion licensed the rights to the epilepsy drug candidate from its parent company CombiGene. Reprinted with permission of Animal Pharm News