Safety and efficacy study of Piclidenoson commenced for canine osteoarthritis treatment

dvm360dvm360 January 2022
Volume 53
Issue 1

With an excellent safety profile in human clinical trials, this drug may offer a much-needed solution for canine osteoarthritis as well.

Can-Fite BioPharma Ltd—a biotechnology company accelerating a pipeline of proprietary small molecule drugs that address inflammatory, cancer, and liver diseases—has announced its veterinary development and commercialization partner, Vetbiolix, has launched a safety and efficacy study of Piclidenoson for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis.

According to a company release,1 safety findings are expected in Q1 2022, and efficacy data is expected in Q4 2022. Piclidenoson has been extensively tested in human clinical trials with a favorable safety profile across more than 1,500 human patients.

“Based on Piclidenoson’s safety profile in humans and small animals, we expect similar excellent results in dogs. We are hopeful that Piclidenoson may also show efficacy in osteoarthritis and offer relief to millions of dogs and their families,” said Pnina Fishman, PhD, Can-Fite CEO, in the release.1

“Working with Vetbiolix for this veterinary indication, [we] aim to leverage our clinical pipeline to benefit animals while accelerating our path to commercialization through a capital-efficient strategy,” she added.

Piclidenoson is an oral drug with an excellent safety profile in human clinical trials and it may provide a necessary safe, effective treatment for canine osteoarthritis. The most frequently used existing treatments for this condition include oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) for pain control with substantial harmful side effects, and an injectable disease-modifying osteoarthritis drug (DMOAD) that targets the disease’s progress.1

About 20 to 25%2 of dogs have osteoarthritis—categorized by joint cartilage loss, joint capsule thickening, and new bone formation around the joint that results in limb dysfunction and pain. The canine osteoarthritis market is predicted to reach $3 billion by 2024.

Vetbiolix is responsible for all costs and development of Piclidenoson in the canine and feline osteoarthritis market, for which the company has the exclusive rights to Piclidenoson for 2 years under an option agreement. If the clinical studies provide positive results and Vetbiolix exercises its option to license from Can-Fite, then Vetbiolix will be required to pay Can-Fite upfront and milestone payments, along with royalties on sales upon regulatory approval for veterinary use.


  1. Can-Fite’s Piclidenoson commences clinical study for the treatment of canine osteoarthritis. News release. Can-Fite BioPharma Ltd. November 23, 2021. Accessed November 24, 2021.
  2. Arthritis in dogs and cats. Saint Francis Animal Hospital. Accessed November 24, 2021.
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