New drug discovery will increase safety of canine sedation and anesthesia

A drug discovery made at the University of Helsinki's Faculty of Veterinary Medicine will increase the safety of animal sedation and anesthesia. Vatinoxan, the pharmacological molecule discovered in the study, reduced the adverse effects of other drugs on the cardiovascular system of canine patients.

The research project leading to the discovery was launched more than a decade ago when veterinary researchers were investigating the adverse effects of sedatives and anesthetics on animal patients. They developed the idea to prevent or at least reduce the disadvantages associated with anesthetics through the use of drugs, and the new research line generated in the process has led to the submission of two patent applications.

Now, the efficacy and safety of the new drug has been for the first time trialed on canine patients at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital of the University of Helsinki.

"As veterinary drug studies take time and money, it is a great achievement that we have succeeded in advancing vatinoxan's development to the point where it has been possible to trial it on volunteered canine patients," says Outi Vainio, professor of veterinary pharmacology and head of the project.

"It has been rewarding to observe that the new drug really works on the canine patients as expected," notes Ira Kallio-Kujala, a doctoral student and veterinarian working at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital who served as the project's principal investigator.

The drug is aimed for marketing authorization within a couple of years.

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