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December 2, 2013

New FDA-Approved Injectable Osteoarthritis Drug Available Soon

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently approved a new drug for the treatment of equine joint dysfunction due to non-infectious synovitis or osteoarthritis.

NexHA, a purified hyaluronate sodium product, will provide U.S. veterinarians with an alternative to Legend, another hyaluronate sodium solution, made by Bayer and commonly used to treat and maintain joint dysfunction in horses.

NexHA is manufactured by the Canadian-based Bioniche Animal Health, which also manufactures and distributes other equine drugs and supplements including Butequine, EPIC Daily and Equimune I.V.

NexHA was approved for use last December in Canada and will be officially launched in the United States at the American Association of Equine Practitioners annual convention in Nashville, Tenn., Dec. 7-11. It will be distributed by Bioniche Animal Health USA, Inc.

NexHA is a low molecular weight, purified hyaluronate sodium that can be administered by intravenous or intra-articular injection. It will be available to veterinarians in a 4 ml vial for intravenous injection. Bioniche also produces Enhance, another hyaluronate sodium product for the equine market, which is available in Canada, Australia, Turkey, Hong Kong and New Zealand.

“It’s the same active ingredient, sodium hyaluronate,” said Andrew Grant, president of the Animal Health division at Bioniche Animal Health. “Our customers are the veterinarians. It’s going to give the vets more choices and in turn, [their] customers will get more choices. It is a big deal for us, and it’s going to be a very big deal for customers. It’s the first generic product to Legend, and Legend is obviously a household name in joint therapies.”

Individual veterinarians will be responsible for setting the price of NexHA, but Grant said he expected it would be lower than that of Legend.