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Michael Long, Ph.D., President & CEO

Market Information

The global Animal Health market is large and growing (7.1 % CAGR). The US represents 47% of this market and the remaining is focused in 14 countries. Overall, $53.0 billion was spent on pets in the US in 2013; over half ($28.8 billion) was spent on veterinary care, supplies and OTC medicines. Michigan has a strong history in Animal Health with one of the nation’s first veterinary colleges opening over 125 years ago (Michigan State University). It is home to Zoetis one of the largest Animal Health companies in the world.

FreeStride’s primary markets are companion animals (horses, dogs and cats). FreeStride’s drug offers unparalleled benefits in these markets by preventing and/or treating bone health issues:

  • ?Dogs and cats: Multiple inflammation-related events and age-related osteoarthritis cause lameness that limits the quality of life for these animals (180+ million dogs and cats in US).
  • Horses: Orthopedic injuries limit performance and can result in fatal bone failures (9 million horses in US)

Equine Lameness. There are more than 9 million horses in the United States. The direct economic impact of horse-related goods and services in the US is $39 billion per year; the industry supports 1.4 million full-time jobs. The revenue derived from racehorses is also substantial: Thoroughbred auctions annually handle $1B in transactions, and race horses in US and Canada earned over $1.2B annually in purse money.

Canine Osteoarthritis (OA) Market. OA is prevalent in middle-aged to geriatric dogs and cats (10% to 30%). It may also occur in young dogs who suffer from canine hip dysplasia (a common developmental disorder of the hip joint often found in the larger breeds and breed mixes) Canine obesity is a major cause of degenerative joint disease in dogs of any age and up to half of the dogs in the U.S. are overweight.

Osteo-Inflammatory Diseases

The Unmet Need. Animal lameness caused by osteo-inflammatory disease is a serious health problem that has multiple etiologies. In horses, orthopedic injuries limit performance and can result in fatal bone failures; in dogs and cats inflammation-related events and age-related arthritis limit the quality of life. There are no FDA approved therapies that cure or prevent animal lameness or OA. The existing therapies for lameness in companion animals are palliative and are aimed at controlling the associated inflammation.

Lameness typically develops as a repetitive stress injury (see Figure), e.g., foreleg impact in race-horses, joint pressure in overweight dogs and cats. The resulting inflammation produces proteins that abet that process, but also cause increased bone loss. This weakens the limb leading to further/greater injury and thus establishes a vicious cycle. FreeStride’s drug arrests this cycle at two points.

The Solution. FreeStride’s drug uniquely prevents both inflammation, and bone loss/alterations that occur in inflammatory skeletal disease. It is a small molecule, orally available, has a well-defined molecular target and a tri-modal MOA: the drug halts enzymatic degradation of bone, it promotes bone formation (long term), and it powerfully blocks the release of inflammatory proteins by immune cells. The use of the FreeStride drug therefore represents a novel therapy that affects both immunity and bone homeostasis.