A small Cambridge company has brought an innovative treatment for animal osteoarthritis to New Zealand.
IMS Vet NZ is helping veterinarians manage osteoarthritis and degenerative joint disease in horses by bringing Arthramid® Vet to the Australasian market.
It is registered as a veterinary medicine with marketing authorisation in New Zealand and Australia, the first such veterinary approvals worldwide.
Manufactured by Contura in Denmark, the technology behind it was initially used as a dermal filler in human cosmetic surgery. But after seeing some preliminary scientific studies of the use of 2.5% PAAG in arthritic joints of horses, IMS Vet company founders and Waikato equine veterinarians Jason Lowe and Leigh de Clifford invested in the research and regulatory work required for its veterinary registration.
Since then, the technology has also been approved in the US for osteoarthritis in horses, cats and dogs, thanks largely to the research in animals conducted in New Zealand and Australia by IMS Vet.
The research has also contributed to the registration of 2.5% PAAG in Europe as a treatment for arthritis that may prevent or postpone knee surgery in humans.
“Arthramid is everything a new treatment for arthritis should be – safe, very effective, long-lasting and non-pharmaceutical and, with its ability to alter the course of the disease process, is proving a game-changer in veterinary and potentially human medicine,” Lowe says.
He describes it as a significant development that allows vets to move away from the use of corticosteroids.
“As for human osteoarthritis, it is very satisfying that our work in obtaining veterinary regulatory approvals has helped get approvals for human use and we can only hope that work will reduce the time it takes to get this product available for people with arthritis in Australasia.”