Merial has announced the launch of Oncept IL-2, the first veterinary immunotherapeutic product in Europe for the management of cancer in pets.
A “true breakthrough in the field of veterinary oncology”, Oncept IL-2 is an adjunct immunotherapy for feline fibrosarcoma. The product is based on the innovative recombinant canarypox vector technology, which is used in several Merial vaccines and is the result of a long-standing collaboration between Merial R&D scientists and veterinary oncologists.
Oncept IL-2 is indicated for cats with fibrosarcoma (2-5 cm diameter) without metastasis or lymph node involvement, in order to reduce the risk of relapse and to increase the relapse-free interval. It should be used in addition to surgery and radiotherapy. The treatment of feline fibrosarcomas is a real challenge for veterinary practitioners as the risk of tumour recurrence and relapse is high, even after radical surgical excision.
Commenting on the innovative mode of action, Merial’s technical manager Kevin Whelan explained: “Following injection around the tumour surgery site, the recombinant canarypox vector virus enters the cat’s cells, which then produce interleukin-2. The presence of this cytokine stimulates an anti-tumour immune response by a variety of mechanisms, including the induction of T-lymphocytes and natural killer cells.”
In a field efficacy trial, a treatment course with Oncept IL-2 (consisting of six subcutaneous administrations in the tumour bed over a seven week period), as an adjunct to surgery and radiotherapy, was shown to significantly reduce the risk of relapse and to increase the time to relapse.
The product is available in packs of six doses, which is sufficient for a treatment course.
For further details, contact your local Merial territory manager or email firstname.lastname@example.org