Robenacoxib efficacy for the treatment of chronic degenerative joint disease-associated pain in cats: a randomized and blinded pilot clinical trial

21 October 2021 – News

Robenacoxib efficacy for the treatment of chronic degenerative joint disease-associated pain in cats: a randomized and blinded pilot clinical trial

The main objective of this pilot study was to evaluate the results obtained from the assessment of the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) robenacoxib in cats with pain due to degenerative joint disease (DJD).

Otherwise healthy cats (n = 109) with DJD-pain entered a parallel group, randomized, blinded clinical trial. The groups received placebo (P) and robenacoxib (R) for two consecutive three-week periods. The treatment groups were: PP, RR and RP. Actimetry and evaluation data were collected from owners.

Data were analyzed using mixed-effects and generalized mixed-effects linear models. Activity data showed high within-cat and between-cat variability and 82.4 % of the values were zero. Compared with the placebo group, mean total activity was higher (5.7 %) in cats treated with robenacoxib (p = 0.24). For the 80th percentile of activity, cats treated with robenacoxib had a 10 % increase in activity after 3 (p = 0,046) and 6 weeks (p = 0,026). Treatment with robenacoxib significantly reduced the owner-assessed disability (p = 0.01; 49% reduction in disability; effect size ~ 0.3), and improved temperament (p =0.0039) and well-being (p = 0,021) after 6 weeks. At 6 weeks, more cats treated with robenacoxib had a successful outcome (p = 0,018; NNT: 3.8). The frequency of adverse effects was similar in all groups. The results suitable endpoints for confirmatory studies, while also indicating efficacy of robenacoxib in cats with DJD-pain.

Conflict of Interest Statement: The study was initially funded by Novartis Animal Health and later (after its acquisition) by Elanco Animal Health, who manufacture and distribute the robenacoxib (Onsior) tablets. DA was a graduate student in the TRiP program at the time of the study and now works at Elanco Animal Health. JNK and SBK work for Elanco and RSP was previously employed by Elanco Animal Health. BDXL and SCB have held conferences and done paid consulting for Novartis Animal Health and Elanco Animal Health. MEG has no conflicts of interest to declare.

Adrian D, King JN, Parrish RS, King SB, C Budsberg S, Gruen ME, Lascelles BDX. Robenacoxib shows efficacy for the treatment of chronic degenerative joint disease-associated pain in cats: a randomized and blinded pilot clinical trial. Sci Rep. 2021 Apr 8;11(1):7721. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-87023-2. PMID: 33833276; PMCID: PMC8032665.