Stem cell medicine for equine lameness gets EMA approval

The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use has recommended a marketing authorisation for stem cell-based medicine Arti-Cell Forte.
Vets could soon be in possession of a new weapon against equine lameness after the first allogenic stem cell-based medicine was given the green light by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).
The EMA’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Veterinary Use (CVMP) recommended a marketing authorisation for the first veterinary stem cell-based medicine in the EU on 21 June. Its opinion will be sent to the European Commission for a decision on an EU-wide marketing authorisation. These types of medicines have the potential to provide new treatment strategies, the CVMP said.
The product in question is Arti-Cell Forte, a veterinary medicine indicated for the reduction of mild to moderate lameness linked to joint inflammation in horses. Available as a suspension for injection and given as a single injection into the affected joint, it contains a type of stem cell obtained from equine blood.
The stem cells in the medicine are treated so they develop towards cartilage cells that can assist in repairing damaged cartilage in the joint. Arti-Cell Forte expands the range of available treatments for lameness in horses, the CVMP said.
Horses with lameness of the fetlock joint that were treated with Arti-Cell Forte as part of a field study showed a statistically significant improvement compared with a placebo control group six weeks after treatment, with the positive effect of treatment being sustained over one year, the CVMP explained in a statement.