First cancer drug for pets closer with council’s approval

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Thu, Dec 05, 2013 - Page 3

The first cancer drug for pets has gained clinical trial approval from the Council of Agriculture, an animal drug company announced yesterday.

VetCo Pharmaceuticals said clinical trials of its newly developed drug TD-B10 are to be carried out by veterinarians of National Taiwan University (NTU) Veterinary Hospital. Other cooperating veterinary hospitals include National Chung Hsing University, National Chiayi University and National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, it said.

VetCo said its experiments showed that the drug is effective with more than 10 types of cancers found in dogs, including melanoma, cutaneous lymphoma, perianal gland tumors and squamous cell carcinoma.

However, the first phase of clinical trials will only focus on treating dogs with perianal gland tumors because the council requires clinical trials to be conducted on a single type of disease, it said.

The company said it plans to conduct the clinical trials for free on 30 dogs with perianal gland tumors at each cooperating hospital next year, and it may have the opportunity to apply for a drug permit by the end of next year, if trials are successful.

While the company claimed the drug has a cure rate of at least 50 percent, NTU Veterinary Hospital remained cautious, saying it would need further trials to assess the drug’s efficacy.

Liu said the life span of a dog has increased from about 7 years old in the 1930s to about 13 years today due to medical improvements.

Liu said that more dogs are living longer, yet now dying of cancer, making the development of cancer drugs increasingly important.