While obese cats are often the focus of studies, there are also cats that have trouble keeping weight on due to various medical issues. For these cats, there has not been an easy way to help them gain weight and keep it. But a new drug announced this week could change all that.
Kindred Biosciences, Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on saving and improving the lives of pets, released this week positive results from its pilot field study (KB104P) of KIND-010 for the management of weight in cats. It also announced successful completion of the sample size reassessment of the ongoing pivotal study.
“There are currently no FDA-approved medications to manage weight loss in cats,” Denise Bevers, Co-Founder and COO of Kindred Biosciences told iHeartCats. “Veterinarians will sometimes use human drugs off-label to try to stimulate appetite and manage weight loss in cats.”
Bevers owns two cats herself and understands the importance of keeping their weight healthy. There are instances, however, where cats either lose their appetites or can’t seem to keep weight on. Bevers explained:
“Typically, when cats age they tend to keep a healthy weight or even gain weight – so unintentional weight loss in a cat (at any age) may be an indicator of disease. These underlying issues may range from diseases such as cancer or diabetes, to gastrointestinal issues or even a toothache. In addition, it could be as simple as stress or anxiety from something new in the environment.”
Obviously, this can lead to other serious issues.
“The important thing is to identify the issue and put in place a treatment plan to limit weight loss,” she said. “As many of us know, poor food consumption can have devastating results in cats and can lead to malnutrition and, if let go too far, studies have shown it may also be associated with impaired metabolic function, immunosuppression, and may even compromise the body’s natural wound healing process.”
KindredBio’s new drug may be able to help cats in all these situations gain and keep a healthy weight.
This study was a randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled study that enrolled 32 cats (16 in the KIND-010 group, 16 in the placebo group). The objective was to demonstrate the effectiveness and safety of KIND-010 for the stimulation of weight gain in cats under clinical conditions.
At Week 2, mean weight of cats in the KIND-010 group was 4.32 kg (3.25 percent increase from Day 1) versus 3.98 kg (-1.65 percent increase from Day 1) in the placebo group (p=0.0042).
From this first trial, the results are positive with the cats taking KIND-010 increasing their weight, while the cats in the control group actually continued to lose weight.
You may be wondering why a drug is needed – why not just feed the cats more or a diet in higher fat/more calories? While there are “therapeutic diets” with higher caloric content, Bevers explained that often cats that are not feeling well won’t eat or won’t eat enough.
Next, KindredBio will do a pivotal effectiveness study (KB105) for KIND-010 010 for the management of weight loss in cats. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study was concurred upon by FDA and will enroll a minimum of 200 cats (100 KIND-010/100 placebo) to assess the mean percent change in body weight from Day 1 to Week 2.
Bevers says the company is hoping to report results of this study midyear 2016. If the results are positive and the FDA approves the medication, it could be approved for marketing in 2017.