Zoetis has launched Cytopoint (lokivetmab), a novel once-monthly injectable treatment for the clinical signs of atopic dermatitis in dogs and the first monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy approved in the European Union for veterinary use.

Zoetis says that Cytopoint works by mimicking the activity of natural antibodies which selectively bind and neutralise canine interleukin-31 (cIL-31), a key cytokine involved in triggering itch in dogs.

The company says that because of the precision and specificity with which Cytopoint acts to target and neutralise cIL-31, it has been shown not to interfere with the immune response, meaning that it does not induce unintended immunosuppression or enhancement.

Dr. Emmanuel Bensignor, a specialist in veterinary dermatology in Paris, France, who participated in field studies conducted in Europe, said: "My personal experience with Cytopoint showed impressive speed of efficacy, significantly reducing itch in dogs from 24 hours onwards.

"Atopic dermatitis is a very common disease in dogs, and the owners I meet are desperate to find a rapid, reliable and safe solution for their suffering dogs. With its once monthly injection, I believe that Cytopoint has the potential to meet pet owners' needs for its convenience.

"European veterinary dermatologists and veterinarians will now have access to a new therapeutic class via this first monoclonal antibody treatment for veterinary use. It is a very exciting innovation which brings a notable improvement to the health and quality of life of the dogs and happiness to their families."

The recommended minimum efficacious dose for the treatment of clinical manifestations of atopic dermatitis in dogs is 1 mg/kg, which can be repeated monthly. Cytopoint will be available in single dose vials containing 10, 20, 30 or 40 mg/kg of lokivetmab.

For more information, visit the European Medicines Agency.