FLORHAM PARK, N.J. - Jan. 20, 2014 - Zoetis Inc. today announced that APOQUEL® (oclacitinib tablet) is now available to veterinarians in the United States for the control of pruritus, or itching, associated with allergic dermatitis and the control of atopic dermatitis in dogs at least 12 months of age. With APOQUEL, veterinarians now have a first-in-class treatment choice that targets the itch of allergic skin conditions at its source. Canine itching is among the most frequent complaints of pet owners, affecting about one in six dogs whose owners seek veterinary help. About half of all itchy dogs will have an underlying allergic skin condition where APOQUEL would be indicated.
"When a dog develops an itch related to an allergy, it can be life-disrupting for the dog and the entire family. After gaining five years of experience with APOQUEL through my involvement in clinical trials, I've learned firsthand the difference this treatment can make to a dog and its owners in stopping the itch, but without many of the side effects that are common with steroids," said Thomas Lewis II, DVM, DACVD, practicing veterinary dermatologist at Dermatology for Animals in Gilbert, Ariz. He noted this has been the case even for those dogs that failed to respond to conventional therapies.
"Pet owners who complained that their dogs would wake them up in the middle of the night due to intense itch have told me that after treatment with APOQUEL, the household can sleep more peacefully," Dr. Lewis said. "In my 28 years of practice, this is the most exciting new treatment for the management of itch associated with allergic and atopic dermatitis in dogs, which can often be a challenging and complex condition to treat."
APOQUEL was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May 2013 and is the first and only Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor approved for veterinary use. Its novel mode of action specifically targets and inhibits the cytokines involved in itch and inflammation with minimal activity against cytokines involved in hematopoiesis or innate immune function. Clinical studies have shown that APOQUEL provides rapid relief from itching and improves inflammation in dogs that suffer from allergies, without many of the side effects commonly associated with steroids. In a trial of dogs with allergic dermatitis, APOQUEL produced rapid onset of efficacy within 24 hours. In a trial of dogs with atopic dermatitis, dogs treated with APOQUEL experienced a significant and long-term reduction in itch and inflammation at day 28 of the study. In cases where APOQUEL treatment was continued, success rates remained constant through day 112.
"Zoetis is committed to providing treatments for conditions that affect the lives of pets and their owners who care for them," said Mike McFarland, DVM, DABVP, Group Director, Companion Animal Veterinary Operations at Zoetis. "APOQUEL is just one example that shows how we are continuing to invest in innovative new approaches that help veterinarians address real-world conditions, such as allergic and atopic dermatitis."
For more information, please visit www.apoquel.com.
Important Safety Information
APOQUEL® should not be used in dogs less than 12 months of age or in dogs with serious infections. APOQUEL may increase the susceptibility to infection and demodicosis and may exacerbate neoplastic conditions. APOQUEL has not been evaluated in combination with systemic immunosuppressive agents such as glucocorticoids or cyclosporine. APOQUEL should not be used in breeding dogs, or pregnant or lactating dogs. The most common side effects seen in dogs administered APOQUEL were vomiting and diarrhea. APOQUEL has been safely used in conjunction with other common medications including antibiotics and parasiticides and with vaccinations. For Full Prescribing Information visit www.apoquel.com/Apoquel_PI.