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Novel Treatment for Canine Atopic Dermatitis in Clinical Trial

Dermatologists at North Carolina State University’s Veterinary Health Center are seeking dogs suffering from chronic itching or skin lesions to participate in a clinical trial of a novel biologic treatment for canine atopic dermatitis.

Dogs enrolled in the study should have had signs of moderate or severe atopic dermatitis that failed to completely respond to standard-of-care therapy such as steroids or cyclosporine. Alternatively, the dog could have suffered from allergies that responded to therapy, but with side effects so severe that treatment had to be stopped.

Dr. Olivry“The treatment will consist of an injection that will bind to, and then block, a key molecule called Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha or TNF-alpha,” says Thierry Olivry, professor of immunodermatology. “The TNF-alpha molecule is important in the early development of inflammation in the skin and other organs. We are hoping that signs of skin allergy such as lesions and itching will rapidly decrease after the injection and remain low, possibly for several weeks.”

The trial will last six weeks and owners are expected to bring their dog to the Dermatology Service for four visits. The tested drug will be injected only during the first visit. The owner will subsequently rate the level of itch once daily using a form. Blood and urine will be collected at the beginning and at the end of the trial.

Visits and laboratory tests run for this study will be covered by the funded grant. As a study incentive, owners will receive $50 credit toward future hospital expenses for each completed study visit for a $200.

To enroll a dog in the study or for more information, please email Berryman Hill at