Meet the Industry-13


Zoetis India launches Apoquel–a

novel dermatology solution for canine pruritus

Zoetis India has recently launched Apoquel (oclacitinib maleate), a novel therapy for the treatment of pruritus (itching) associated with canine allergic dermatitis and clinical manifestations of atopic dermatitis. With this comes a first-in-class treatment choice for veterinarians in South Asia to take care for itch of allergic skin conditions in dogs.

Pratik Sharma

Pratic Pawar

Dr Dana Liska

Ranjith Nair

Apoquel is the first Janus Kinase (JAK) inhibitor approved for veterinary use in India. It relieves pruritus and improves skin lesions quickly and effectively, without the side effects associated with commonly used therapies such as glucocorticoids.

Apoquel was launched in a webinar on 11 th August, 2021, conducted by Dr Dana Liska, Sr. Derm Vet, Zoetis. She narrated the benefits of Apoquel, over other harmful or not so right products to treat itch, which definetly harm the vital organs. Vets across India participated in this launch session. Dr Dana walked the vets through the problem of itching, right way to itch diagnosis and treatment.

Canine pruritus is one of the most common complaints come from pet parents. It is affecting approximately one in every six dogs whose pet parents seek veterinary assistance. About half of all itchy dogs will have an underlying allergic skin condition for which Apoquel would be an ideal recommendation.

Without side effects
Pascal Prélaud, a dermatology specialist from Paris, who took part in the clinical development programme of Apoquel, said, “When a dog develops an itch related to an allergy, it can be life-disrupting for the pet and entire family. I’ve learned firsthand the fundamental  difference this treatment can make to a dog and his pet parents in stopping the itch, but without many side-effects that are common with steroids. Now, veterinarians have an effective, well-tolerated choice to offer pet parents.”

Apoquel has a unique and innovative mode of action, as it targets specific pathways of pruritus (itch) and inflammation, which makes it different to glucocorticoids. It is less likely to cause unwanted side-effects and also acts rapidly (demonstrating anti-pruritic efficacy within four hours) to reduce the itch, unlike cyclosporine which can take up to a month to control pruritus. “It will give me the time I need to find out what is causing the allergic dermatitis, to make a good diagnosis,” added Dr Pascal.

Culmination of dedication ingenuity
Dr Michael Stegemann, Senior Director of Veterinary Research and Development at Zoetis, said, “Zoetis is committed to providing treatments for conditions that affect the lives of pets and pet parents.” He added,” Apoquel is the culmination of more than a decade of dedication and ingenuity from Zoetis colleagues. We have been driven by our deep understanding of customers’ unmet needs, and our determination that we can make a difference to the quality of life of pets and their caregivers. Apoquel, in my mind, epitomises why we exist: to apply our expertise in science and innovation, and deliver solutions to our customers.”

Clinical trial results
In clinical trials, Apoquel demonstrated a good safety profile and efficacy for the treatment of pruritus and resulted in improved skin lesions in dogs diagnosed with a number of allergic skin diseases as well as atopic dermatitis and treated either short or long term. Pet parents noticed a decrease in itch scores as soon as 24 hours after administration, the first observation time point, and pruritus continued to decrease compared to baseline until the study ended. Skin lesions scores assessed by veterinarians were significantly improved after one week and continued to improve long term during the studies (four months).

In the field studies, the most common side-effects observed in dogs treated with Apoquel were vomiting and diarrhoea. Other reported side-effects included lethargy, decreased or lack of appetite, skin irritation or infection, and ear irritation or infection. The Apoquel safety profile is similar to placebo up to 16 days of treatment.

Development of Apoquel
Zoetis researchers have made major discovery findings around the mechanism of pruritus in allergic skin diseases, and the role of allergic, pro-inflammatory and itch cytokines that signal through the JAK pathway. Those findings supported the development of Apoquel. While many current therapies are broad- based agents, Apoquel presents an innovative mode of action that allows targeting of pruritus and inflammation at its source when associated with allergic skin disease. It is an inhibitor of the JAK enzyme, a protein that is integral to the signaling pathway of cytokines that are pro-inflammatory or have a role in allergic and itch response.

Its novel mechanism of action on the JAK enzyme is specifically designed to target the pruritogenic and pro-inflammatory pathways involved in the itch cycle, allowing effective reduction of allergic itch regardless of its cause, and improvement of skin lesions associated with allergic skin diseases and atopic dermatitis. Frequently used pruritus treatments have some drawbacks. In acute and chronic cases, steroids will effectively reduce pruritus, but their potential short-term side-effects (polydipsia, polyuria, polyphagia and panting) and potential long-term side complications (including pancreatitis, gastrointestinal ulceration, lipidemia, diabetes, muscle wasting and iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome) and often complex dosing schedules can be a real challenge to both dogs and pet parents and limit their use.

Quick, effective sustained itch relief
Apoquel offers quick, effective, and sustained itch relief. It improves skin lesions and can be used for the short- or long-term. Apoquel will be available on prescription by a veterinarian only. Apoquel tablets,dosed at 0.4 to 0.6 mg/kg, are administered orally, twice daily for up to 14 days, and then administered once daily for maintenance therapy if medium- to long-term treatment is required, such as in dogs with seasonal skin allergy and atopic dermatitis.

Apoquel may be administered with or without food. During treatment with Apoquel, diagnosis and management of the underlying causes of the allergic dermatitis should be implemented as well. Apoquel has been used in conjunction with other medications including antibiotics, parasiticides and anti- inflammatories commonly used in dogs with skin diseases. Apoquel is now available for veterinarians in India and will be available in other South Asian countries soon.

Zoetis, as the world’s leading animal health company, is driven by a singular purpose to nurture the world and human kind by advancing care for animals. After nearly 70 years innovating ways to predict, prevent, detect, and treat animal illness, Zoetis continues to stand by those raising and caring for animals worldwide–from livestock farmers to veterinarians and pet parents.


The Food Processing Committee of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) organised a WEBINAR ON PET FOOD INDUSTRY—UNLEASHING OPPORTUNITIES & KEY CHALLENGES. The objective of the webinar was to create awareness about the potential for growth of Pet Food Industry under the Prime Minister’s initiative of Make in India and AatmaNirbhar Bharat.

The chief guest of the webinar, Dr OP Chaudhary, Joint Secretary (NLM/PC), Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, said that there is immense scope for India to venture into pet food as it is an upcoming industry and the government is inclined to promote this industry. He opined that the government has allocated funds for the development of an animal husbandry infrastructure fund that will handhold MSMEs and other private companies who are interested in animal feed and it will give impetus to the AatmaNirbhar Bharat Abhiyaan as well. He also emphasised that there is a need to establish animal nutrition and pet food manufacturing plants in India to meet the growing demand. He also mentioned that pets have been used for addressing many complex issues of society like mental health; pets have become a necessity for some category of people. There is a growth in pet-related activities and pet food is the major sector in India. Pet health can be ensured only with a balanced diet according to their type and age. There is a need for increasing pet food manufacturing and he urged the Pet Food Industry to overcome the demand- supply gap.

Dr Sujit Kumar Dutta, Secretary, Animal Welfare Board of India urged the Indian industry to come forward as the country requires nutritional pet food. There is immense research opportunity in this segment that can be harnessed by the Indian industry, he added. Moving ahead, he recommended that we need to set up a manufacturing plant under the AatmaNirbhar Financial package which will be a major leap towards making this industry self-reliant for the nation. He opined that there is a huge opportunity in the Indian pet food industry and immense scope for India to venture into the pet food segment. There has been a rapid demand increase in pet food during the times of the pandemic as many street dogs have been adopted by the people. The citizens are gaining awareness about the importance of pet food and its impact on the health of the pets. He mentioned that keeping a pet is now a popular culture because pets have helped reduce the levels of depression; their company is therapeutic and reassuring for old single citizens.

Ganesh Ramani, General Manager, MARS International India, reiterated that pet food has gained significance over the years and more so because of the rise in pet adoption and pet parents paying more attention to pet nutrition for their health and wellbeing. Appreciating PHDCCI for promoting pet food industry regulatory framework and guidelines through the platform, he stated that the pet food industry in this country is unregulated due to the non existence of uniform science-based regulations and relevant standards for this category to ensure the food safety aspects, barring a few, the need of the hour is to make this industry AatmaNirbhar for the future.

 Satinder Singh, General Manager, Royal Canin India, while highlighting about the motto of Royal Canin believing that pets make this world better, mentioned that pet food industry is already witnessing a rapid growth due to increase in pet parenting and rise in awareness on wellbeing of pets. Further, citing about the challenges which includes highly ambiguous regulatory environment,isolated government policies focusing on livestock and animal feed (cattle feed) specifically, absence of uniform regulatory framework, non-scientific sanitary import guidelines (for Animal Health Certificate), higher taxation for pet food vis-à-vis animal feed (cattle feed) and low awareness amongst pet parents, society and fraternity, he added that creating awareness through such occasions would help leverage and bring a scientific regulatory framework and guidelines for the pet food industry in the future would mitigate the challenges and unleash the true category potential of the pet food industry.

Govind Suryawanshi, Corporate Affairs Director, Royal Canin India, addressed on the existing global regulatory framework for pet food including FEDIAF & AAFCO and necessity of uniform regulatory framework for pet food industry in India. Further, Govind in his remarks stated that Harmonised Regulatory environment focused on policies, standards, ease of doing business, reducing non-tariff barriers (Sanitary & Phyto Sanitary Guidelines), uniform taxation for pet food viz. animal feed and identical regulations for both manufacturers & importers of pet food will empower the industry to reach its true potential in the following years.

 Nitasha Doger, Scientist-D (Food & Agriculture), Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), while highlighting about the role of BIS in making  harmonious development of the activities of standardisation,marking and quality certification of goods and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto briefed about the role of maintaining animal feed standards & BIS certification. She highlighted about the Indian standards on pet food for dogs and cats which include definition of complete food; type of pet foods; ingredients & requirements of complete pet food mineral and vitamin content; and maximum limit of toxic contaminants in pet food and additional information for guidance purpose.

 Dr Makrand Chavan, General Secretary, Federation of Small Animal Practitioners Associations of India (FSAPAI), highlighted about the role of health through maintaining pet’s well being & nutrition. He, in his presentation, recommended that awareness should be enhanced among the veterinary healthcare team and the pet owners as nutrition plays a  vital role in optimal pet health; advocated for making animal nutrition as part of veterinary curriculum; promoting the performance of nutritional assessment and advancing the central role of veterinary healthcare team.

Shashank Sinha, National Sales Director, IB Group (Drools), while thanking PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry for the opportunity highlighted about the pet food’s perspective syncing to the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of AatmaNirbhar Bharat, added that pet food is an essential element and government has to support the industry for the growth and development of the pet food industry.

Gaurav Kwatra, Business Head, Purina Petcare India, in his presentation highlighted about the Post- COVID-19 Trends & Paradigm Shift to Consumer Behaviour. He highlighted about the macro trends which include consumers becoming more careful about making purchases, digital adoption and online shopping burgeoning. Further while worrying about the situation of COVID-19, he stated that during these tough times it’s the pet who has taken care of us to tackle the problem of stress, anxiety and isolation.

Ganesh Nayak, Founder & Chairman, Animal Matters to Me (Animal Welfare Organisation) discussed about the Prevention of Animal Cruelty Act focusing on prevention of the infliction of unnecessary pain or suffering of the animals. He also highlighted about the animal welfare environment; breeding conditions; on ground activities support; responsible pet parenting and corporate social responsibility for sustainable responsibility society can contribute to protect animals from cruelty.

Pradeep Multani, Sr Vice President, PHDCCI, while welcoming the dignitaries, stated that the pet food industry has the potential to grow over 20 times throwing opportunities for meat and poultry industry and start ups. Setting the theme, he added that the discussions will focus on the overall evolution of the pet food industry, marketing challenges and opportunities, regulatory concerns facing importers and domestic producers, supply chain and logistics for raw material sourcing, also opportunities for investment in pet food processing given the growing market, need for research in animal wellness and feed and food technologies. Highlighting several challenges the Industry is suffering due to lack of level playing field in GST, availability of finance, incentives and subsidies, he stated that recently announced Performance Linked Incentive Scheme for Food Processing Industry has covered many sectors including marine food but has clearly bypassed the pet food industry which has huge potential.

Further, Pradeep also stated that the pet food sales have witnessed an increase of 20 percent in 2020. The momentum is likely to continue. According to industry experts, the pet food market is worth Rs 2500 crore of which the share of the domestically manufactured pet food is not very significant and nearly 80 percent is imported. Going forward, concluding the address, he urged that banks should be encouraged to treat this as priority sector for lending and motivate the growth of
the Industry.

Ajay Beri, Chairman of the Food Processing Committee, PHD Chamber, in his address raised key challenges faced by domestic pet food industry and put forward the suggestions on behalf of the
domestic industry.

Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary General, PHDCCI. while proposing a formal vote of thanks to all the delegates and participants, mentioned that the industry can further evolve and throw further opportunities in the value chain for start-ups as well, only if there is a well-defined framework and level field playing for the pet food industry.
Dr Yogesh Srivastav, Assistant Secretary General, PHDCCI, while moderating the session stated that the pet food industry also has the potential to increase farmer’s income as it is dependent on the
meat industry for raw material, which in turn is dependent on the farms.

Mallika Verma, Director (Agriculture & Food Processing), PHDCCI, moderated the Question& Answers discussion and reiterated about the need for a platform for stakeholders to discuss the production, procurement, regulatory and marketing challenges as well as highlight emerging opportunities for small and medium sized start-ups.

(Knowledge Partners for the webinar were MARS International India, Royal Canin India along with Gold Sponsor as Purina PetCare India; Silver Sponsor as Kennel Kitchen and was supported by PETEX India’21 and The Feline Club of India IFCI). The Media Partners for the webinar were Nuffoods Spectrum; Krishi Jagran and Dogs & Pups/Cats & Kittens Magazine. The webinar was attended by more than 100 industry stalwarts pan India.)

(L-R 1st row) Ajay Beri, Chairman & Proprietor, Agro Foods Limited; Mallika Verma, Director, Agriculture & Food Processing, PHDCCI; Satinder Singh, General Manager, Royal Canin India; Ganesh Ramani, General Manager, MARS International India.

(2nd row): Pradeep Multani, Senior Vice President, PHDCCI; Dr Yogesh Srivastav, ASG, PHDCCI; Govind Suryawanshi, Corporate Affairs Director, Royal Canin India; Shashank Sinha, National Sales Director, IB Group (Drools)

(3rd row): Gaurav Kwatra, Business Head, Purina Petcare India; Dr OP Chaudhary, Joint Secretary (NLM/PC), Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries; Nitasha Doger, Scientist-D (Food & Agriculture), Bureau of Indian Standards; Deepankar Khare, Deputy Secretary, PHDCCI

(4th row): Dr Sujit Kumar Dutta, Secretary, Animal Welfare Board of India; Ganesh Nayak, Founder & Chairman, Animal Matters to Me (Animal Welfare Organisation); Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary General, PHDCCI; Dr Makrand Chavan, General Secretary, Federation of Small Animal Practitioners Associations of India (FSAPAI)

(To view the webinar, log on to:

Take a step towards making this world a better place

The world has reached a whole new level during this pandemic and its results have been seen in all aspects of life. In times like this we must not turn a blind eye to the plight of our strays. Take a step towards making this world a better place for our furry favourites and come donate towards their next meal! Remember, every little bit counts! Your donation could be the difference between life and death for an innocent stray.

by Dr. Shashank Sinha, National Sales Director, Drools

Across India, the impact of the 21 day lockdown on pets and strays has been massive, the further lockdown till 3 May will indeed need more initiatives. We at Drools have tried to handle the situation in various ways.

Sensitized people that pets don’t spread Covid19 – With the pandemic, people panicked and started to abandon their pets. We started a strong campaign to educate people that Covid is not the reason & that they should never abandon.

#Pawrentine – We started a campaign #Pawrentine and encouraged people to stay home and spend their time with their pets.

Pet food more accessible – Worked with retailers and online channel to make pet food more accessible.

Feed the Stray – Life for animals on the streets has become increasingly difficult as they struggle to survive, hungry and starving, with no means to communicate their pain. We have begun contributing to feeding animals on the streets and are urging our fellow animal lovers to join hands with us to make sure no animal suffers from an empty stomach

Feed the Stray’ initiative with every donation made, we will make an additional donation of 25% and will donate that amount in food to animal welfare NGOs across the country. No amount is too little and each donation will go towards feeding a hungry mouth who is helpless and alone.

The NGO’s we are working in tandem are – World For All Canine Care Center- Mumbai, Sanjay Gandhi Animal Hospital-Delhi, Blue Cross-Hyderabad, Charlie’s Animal Rescue Centre ResQ- Pune, Streetdog watch -Kovalam, Posh foundation- Noida, Pets 101 Foundation-Chennai.

Share  your Actions, Solidarity and Views
Email –

We love, we care, we treat