June 3, 2009

FDA Approves Pfizer’s Canine Cancer Treatment

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Pfizer Inc's Palladia, a cancer treatment drug designed for dogs.

The announcement on Wednesday makes Palladia the first FDA-approved cancer therapy for dogs.

Previous attempts at fighting cancer in dogs relied on drugs designed for humans, said Bernadette Dunham, director of FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine.

"This cancer drug approval for dogs is an important step forward for veterinary medicine," Dunham said in a statement.

"Today's approval offers dog owners, in consultation with their veterinarian, an option for treatment of their dog's cancer."

Palladia is a pill that must be taken every other day for several months. It works by cutting off the blood supply to canine cutaneous mast cell tumors. Side effects of Palladia include diarrhea, decreased appetite, lameness, weight loss and blood in the stool.

Pfizer said tumors disappeared, shrunk or stopped growing in about 60 percent of dogs that received Palladia during clinical trials.

Pfizer intends to begin marketing the drug early next year, but the company has yet to release any pricing details.

According to Reuters, Pfizer Animal Health estimates 1.2 million new canine cancer cases are reported in the United States every year.


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