Osteoarthritis is the most common form of joint disease with a range of causes including aging and trauma leading to the degeneration of the cartilage surrounding the joints. As it causes severe pain with any leg movement, it requires serious consideration and proper treatment. With the recent surge in the number of companion animals, the market for animal osteoarthritis drugs is growing. In 2015, there were 83 million dogs in the United States and 61 million in Europe (2015, NexVet), and as of 2015, the companion pet market is worth 70 trillion won in the US and 14 trillion won in Japan.
An innovative drug, EAD100, is a single drug - dual function peptide drug. EAD100 combines with TGF-β1 and selectively blocks Smad1/5/8 pathways, which promotes cartilage tissue degeneration, and maintains Smad2/3 pathways, which induces cartilage tissue regeneration. This not only induces cartilage regeneration, but also provides rapid pain relief effect by reducing the expression of the NGF gene.
Animal clinical trials, approved by Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency, had been conducted at Seoul National University Animal Hospital since May 2018. The trials administered the drug in the joint cavity once every 2 weeks for a total of 2 sessions, and consisted of four groups: EAD100 alone, analgesic (NSAIDs) alone, EAD100 in combination with analgesic (NSAIDs), and physical therapy. As a result of the trials, EAD100 showed more significant improvement in lameness and pain relief than physical therapy, and better clinical results were obtained when combined with NSAIDs than NSAIDs alone.
Based on the results of animal clinical trials, EAD100 (product name: JointVex) received an animal drug market authorization in Korea from Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency in February 2020. Not only that, the bid for out-license to develop, manufacture, and commercialize the product all over the world outside of Korea was very competitive, and was successfully out-licensed to a top 10 global animal health company in March 2020 for animal osteoarthritis treatment. The company will exclusively develop, manufacture and commercialize the product globally outside of Korea.
Currently, JointVex is being sold to veterinary hospitals throughout the nation through VexPert, which owns domestic sales rights. Unlike NSAIDs, a traditionally administered treatment for osteoarthritis of dogs, which have limited use for individuals with organ dysfunction or digestive system disorders, JointVex is an intra-articular injection that requires veterinarian expertise. JointVex aims to increase its market share through a gradual market creation strategy marked towards dogs suffering from chronic arthritis, old-age, and inoperable conditions that visit each animal hospital.
- JointVex: http://www.vexpert.kr/main/page.html?pid=81
- JointVex Application Example: https://youtu.be/lrm_rR7WtDY