Monoclonal Antibodies for Companion Animals


In recent decades, the field of monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapy has advanced significantly, evolving from its inception to become a well-established asset in the realm of human medicine. A notable milestone was reached last year when the US FDA granted approval for the 100th monoclonal antibody product, merely 35 years after the inaugural approval in 1986. Monoclonal antibodies are highly sought after primarily due to their exceptional specificity and affinity to their intended targets, qualities that render these molecules exceptionally appealing for combatting various types of cancer.

Antibody Therapy for Pets

Chronic conditions like cancer, lymphoma, arthritis, allergies, and long-term pain afflict dogs and cats, signifying that antibody therapy may present similar advantages seen in comparable to human treatments. There is a huge need for these therapies in veterinary medicine, as in the USA alone there are 6M cases of cancer diagnosed each year in dogs, and a similar number in cats, and 1 in 4 American dogs is diagnosed with some form of arthritis.

Veterinary antibody researchers have been taking approaches including the utilization of bioengineering to make antibodies more dog-like (caninization) or cat-like (felinization).

Alleviating Pain with Monoclonal Antibodies

Most of veterinary clinics use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain. While they are commonly used and provide clear benefits, there are instances where they may not be adequately effective when used as the sole form of treatment.

Recently, species-specific anti-nerve growth factor (NGF) monoclonal antibodies for the management of osteoarthritis (OA)-associated pain in dogs has been developed. Proof-of-concept clinical studies have shown that anti-NGF mAbs have analgesic effects in rodent and osteoarthritic dogs. Long-acting pain relief (>4 weeks) and good tolerability was observed in the dog studies after a single injection. 

Monoclonal Antibodies as Diagnostics

Diagnosing infectious diseases often necessitates the identification of the causative agent or specific antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies, which can precisely target a single antigenic determinant (epitope), offer a significant advantage in accurately pinpointing the organism of interest, such as protozoa or parasites.

Additionally, efforts in diagnostic marker research have revealed critical indicators suitable for designing specific monoclonal antibodies. For example, Serum amyloid A, an indicator that surges during an inflammatory response, proves exceptionally valuable in gauging an animal's response to therapy. The specificity, homogeneity, and ready availability of these antibodies have spurred extensive research in their production for diagnostic tests against veterinary pathogens

Our Capabilities

Utilizing Esco Aster's team of experts and our patented Tide Motion bioreactor platform, we can efficiently manufacture biologics like monoclonal antibodies for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes. One of our core technologies, the TideXcell™ bioreactor, provides an optimal culture environment with low shear, minimal foam or bubbling, and superior aeration, resulting in enhanced cell growth and higher yields of biological products.


  1. Bland, S. D. (2015, July 17). Canine osteoarthritis and treatments: a review. Veterinary Science Development; PAGEPress (Italy).
  2. Galbraith, A. (2022, December 1). Antibody therapy for pets – following the human lead.
  3. Gearing, D. P., Huebner, M., Virtue, E. R., Knight, K. L., Pb, H., Lascelles, B. D. X., Gearing, R. P., & Drew, A. F. (2016, June 15). In Vitro and In Vivo Characterization of a Fully Felinized Therapeutic Anti‐Nerve Growth Factor Monoclonal Antibody for the Treatment of Pain in Cats. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine; Wiley-Blackwell.
  4. Review on the role of monoclonal antibody in animal disease ... - IJARBS. (n.d.).