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New pain relief for cats with osteoarthritis gets U.S. approval

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Jan 13 (Reuters) - The U.S. health regulator on Thursday approved Zoetis Inc's once-a-month injection to treat pain in cats with osteoarthritis, a common but difficult-to-diagnose condition that affects the joints in older cats.

Osteoarthritis breaks down the protective cartilage that cushions the joints, leading to increased friction that causes pain and decreased movement.

The drug, Solensia, with the active ingredient frunevetmab, is the first veterinary monoclonal antibody approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Monoclonal antibodies are manufactured copies of antibodies created by the body to fight an infection.

Solensia was approved based on two effectiveness studies which used assessment of the cats by veterinarians and the scores from owners for the pets' movements before and after treatment.

The most common side-effects seen in cats from treatment with Solensia included vomiting, diarrhea, injection site pain and itchy skin.

(Reporting by Leroy Leo; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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