November 16, 2015 / 5:58 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Nexvet canine osteoarthritis drug meets main goal in study

(Adds CEO comment)

Nov 16 (Reuters) - Shares of Nexvet Biopharma Plc rose as much as 33 percent after the animal-health company's drug for canine osteoarthritis showed promise in a study.

Dogs enrolled in the study experienced relief from pain at four weeks when compared with placebo, the company said, adding that the results would form the basis for a regulatory application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Analysts said the results came in as a pleasant surprise, especially after interim results in March indicated the possible expansion of the size of the trial.

The standard of care for canine pain is currently dominated by NSAIDs, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which can cause kidney toxicity and gastrointestinal disturbances, Nexvet Chief Executive Mark Heffernan said.

Nexvet's drug, NV-01, is the first monoclonal antibody in development for canine pain. The drug is administered through an injection once a month, while anti-inflammatory drugs need to be administered daily.

Canine pain treatment, with a market size of about $400-600 million, is a huge opportunity for Nexvet, Piper Jaffrey & Co analysts wrote in a note.

NV-01, could generate revenue of about $35 million in 2020 and $70 million in 2025, analysts said.

Nexvet is also running an additional trial with 150 dogs, with different dosing regimens. Results from the trial are expected in December.

The company is collaborating with France-based Virbac SA , which will distribute the drug outside the United States and Canada.

Nexvet shares were trading up 7.37 percent at $5.24 on the Nasdaq on Monday. (Reporting by Amrutha Penumudi in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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