Tiger being treated Ramat Gan370.
(photo credit: Yogev Montekyo)
Pedang, a 14-year-old rare, male Sumatran tiger at Ramat Gan’s Safari Park, has
stopped scratching his ear for the first time in years, thanks to the insertion
on Thursday of a special experimental foam to treat his chronic
FoamOtic, a new formulation and drug-delivery platform for a
combination of known active ingredients, was developed by Otic Pharma in Rehovot
for human patients, as well as for dogs and cats that tend to have such
infections in their ears.
Pedang underwent acupuncture therapy and
steroid treatment at the park a few weeks ago, but it didn’t help
Otic Pharma’s vice president for research and development, Dr.
Rodrigo Yelin, heard about the tiger’s predicament and offered the experimental
treatment to the Safari’s chief veterinarian, Dr. Igal Horowitz, who welcomed
the chance to use it on Pedang.
On Thursday he was put under general
anesthesia, while Safari staff – under the guidance of Horowitz and
Dr. Gila Zur of Hebrew University’s Koret School of Veterinary Medicine –
carefully inserted the foam inside his ear canal.
The foam solves the
problem of ear drops, as it expands in the ear canal to provide complete and
even coverage of the infected area.
It doesn’t drip out of the ear, and
provides continuous release of the active pharmaceutical ingredients. Thus, only
one application of the drug is necessary.
Horowitz reported on Monday
that the tiger, whose mate was never infected in her ears, is no longer
scratching and is enjoying “normal behavior.”
In three weeks, Pegang will
undergo general anesthesia again to examine his ear more closely, perform tests
and determine whether he is indeed rid of the infection.
staffers prepared a special concoction of antibiotics, steroids and anti-fungal
ingredients for the tiger, to be given as a single treatment in an attempt to
eradicate the pathogens causing the disease and reduce the underlying
inflammation – the likely cause of the tiger’s recurrent ear
The bacterial species plaguing the tiger’s ears is
Pseudomonas, a species that was successfully eradicated by FoamOtic preparations
in clinical studies in human patients diagnosed with acute otitis externa (known
as “swimmer’s ear”).
Horowitz said the tiger has been suffering from a
chronic ear infection for several years, but that recently his condition
deteriorated and the frequency of the recurrent infection increased.
thought that Otic Pharma’s novel treatment had the potential to significantly
contribute to the tiger’s recovery and would like to thank Otic Pharma for their
generous help,” he said.
Yelin said that the foam, which is in
development for the treatment of common ear disorders in humans, is also very
well suited for dogs and cats.
“One of its main strengths is that, in
contrast to ear drops, it does not spill out of the ear, despite the
head-shaking that follows application of ear medications to animals. Our
preliminary studies show that FoamOtic is well tolerated by dogs, and we are
optimistic that our innovative treatment will be able to alleviate Pedang’s
Since the concentration of the active ingredients
is more than 100-fold higher than the concentration required to kill the
microbes, the long-lasting effect of the foam means that a single application is
enough to kill off all the pathogens, whether they are bacteria or
FoamOtic for the veterinary market is currently at an initial
stage of development with initial encouraging results, and the company is
seeking a partner to further develop its pet product.