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Yay for Pfizer! I only wish they had developed this pill 4 years ago when the Sausage was going through his battle with mast cell. I hope it helps many others now that it is available so they don't have to endure what he did. It is a big step forward.
3 Jun 2009
By Rick Goulart
PfizerWorld Correspondent Network
Editor's Note: On June 3, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced approval of the first-ever cancer therapy for dogs in the U.S., Pfizer Animal Health's Palladia. It's an oral pill to treat recurrent canine mast cell tumors. Although the animal or canine oncology market globally is small and still undeveloped, to the families fighting cancer in a beloved dog, Palladia offers new hope for an extended quality of family life. It also establishes a new therapeutic area -- canine and feline oncology -- for Pfizer Animal Health.
Their stories vary. Yet, each has a similar message: When a beloved family pet battles terminal cancer, quality of life becomes an overriding concern.
"Brandi, our 10-year-old German shepherd diagnosed with a very aggressive cancer, taught us to really persevere through life's challenges," posted Trey McDonald at CureCanineCancer.org, a Morris Animal Foundation Web site and campaign supported by Pfizer Animal Health. "She showed her fighting spirit and that she was still full of life when the oncologist offered to try radiation and chemo to give her a few more months."
Writing in another post, Monica Kielar states, "Our family decided that we would go ahead with lymphoma treatment for our dog. All through monthly, then weekly treatment, it was such a joy to see our little Sneakers play, misbehave and act as he always had."
In some of these stories, the cancer was cured. But, more often than not, the issue that matters most and is a deciding factor in treatment is the quality of life for the dog fighting cancer.
"In human cancer treatment, there is an expectation of toxicity and side effects for a benefit of survival. Canine patients really can't understand that, and this is why quality of life is the over-riding concern for their family caregivers," said Cheryl London, D.V.M., Ph.D., a board-certified medical oncologist and associate professor at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
Pet Oncology: A New Pfizer Therapeutic Area
"As our Veterinary Medicine Research & Development (VMRD) colleagues began to unlock Palladia's mechanism of action and its potential therapeutic benefits, Pfizer Animal Health made a commitment to develop Palladia as the first compound of a new companion animal oncology portfolio," said Cathy Knupp, Vice President, VMRD in Pfizer Animal Health.
In addition to an active pipeline of canine and feline cancer therapies advancing within VMRD, Pfizer also began to promote external scientific investigation of companion animal oncology.
In 2007, Pfizer Animal Health donated $1.1 million to the Morris Animal Foundation to establish a national canine tumor biospecimen bank located in Bethesda, Md. This tissue bank will be accessible to veterinary and medical scientists worldwide as they research new approaches for treating cancer in dogs or humans.
The approval of Palladia by the FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM), which regulates livestock and companion animal medicines in the U.S., also demonstrates the FDA's commitment to bringing novel therapeutic options to the veterinary market place.
"The CVM is actively promoting the development of treatments for uncommon conditions such as mast cell tumors," said Dawn Cleaver, Associate Director, Regulatory Affairs, Pfizer Animal Health. "Within veterinary medicine we now have our own version of the human Orphan Drug Act with the Minor Use Minor Species Act (MUMS). Pfizer was able to use incentives under MUMS to facilitate the approval of Palladia and will continue to work with the CVM to explore opportunities that facilitate the development of new oncology drugs as well as expand label indications."
In Europe, Palladia is also moving through regulatory agency approval, which is anticipated later this year. Palladia is not for use in humans and has never been tested in humans.