The requirement for more effective and safe treatments for chronic inflammatory diseases such as osteoarthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and chronic kidney disease (CKD) in dogs and cats is a major unmet need in veterinary medicine. Dog and cat populations are aging which increases the incidence of chronic inflammatory diseases. About 20% of dogs will develop osteoarthritis and 9% will present with IBD. Approximately 7.5% of cats older than 10 years of age will develop CKD. The mainstays of current treatment are immunosuppressive steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, however, they are not sufficiently effective, have side effects and suffer convenience and compliance issues.
Experimental and clinical studies have identified a number of key biological molecules that mediate chronic inflammatory diseases. These molecules are ideal targets for antibody-based therapies. Indeed, in humans, efficacy, safety and profound commercial successes have been demonstrated with monoclonal antibodies that target these inflammatory mediators. Such molecules also represent ideal targets for our virus-like particle vaccine technology.
HypoPet's vaccine approach offers significant advantages over monoclonal antibody-based therapies for companion animals. Our VLP vaccines will not induce anti-drug antibodies, as is the case with monoclonal antibodies, because the patient's body is orchestrated to make its own antibodies. Moreover, vaccines are less expensive due to lower cost of goods for production, lower doses and less frequent dosing. Hence vaccines enable more flexible pricing options for pet owners and insurers and provide significant advantages in convenience and compliance to the consumer.
We have previously demonstrated that immunization of numerous species, including rodents, primates and humans, with VLP-based vaccines targeting various inflammatory mediators induces target-specific antibodies. Moreover, proof of efficacy has been demonstrated in numerous models of inflammatory disease.
HypoPet has launched vaccine projects HP005 and HP006 for the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases. They are currently undergoing lead optimization.