Israeli pharmaceutical company Otic Pharma recently volunteered to treat Pedang, a rare Sumatran tiger suffering from recurrent ear infections, with an experimental foam based medication.

Pedang, a 14-year-old rare Sumatran tiger that lives in the Ramat Gan Safari in Israel, was recently treated for an ear infection with FoamOtic, an experimental medication delivery system developed by Israeli company Otic Pharma. Dr. Igal Horowitz, Safari Veterinarian and CEO of the Israeli Wildlife Hospital said, “Pedang has been suffering from a chronic ear infection for several years now,” yet his condition was “deteriorating and infection frequency” was increasing. No treatment until recently was available to treat Pedang’s ear problem.

FoamOtic is a foam-based drug delivery platform, which can incorporate a variety of active ingredients. The system addresses the inherent limitations of ear drops: the foam expands in the ear canal providing complete and even coverage of the infected area, it does not drip out of the ear and provides continuous release of the active pharmaceutical ingredients, thereby reducing the number of necessary drug applications and enabling faster disease resolution.

Otic Pharma Chief Operating Officer Rodrigo Yelin, a biochemist, claimed, “One of FoamOtic’s main strengths is that, in contrast to eardrops, 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 [the foam] is well tolerated by dogs, and we are optimistic that our innovative treatment will be able to alleviate Pedang’s recurrent infections.”

Dr. Aya Peri, head veterinarian at the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel, stated: “From my experience, FoamOtic is well tolerated by dogs, and I am confident that a single application of the product will be effective for the treatment of canine otitis externa (the ear infaction that the tiger has). I am therefore hopeful that it will also be effective for the treatment of the ailing tiger.”

According to the company website, “Otic Pharma prepared a special concoction, containing antibiotics, steroids and anti-fungal ingredients, to be given as a single treatment in an attempt to eradicate the microbes causing the disease and to reduce the underlying inflammation, the likely cause of the tiger’s recurrent ear infections. 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”).”

The Ramat Gan Safari’s chief Dr. Igal Horowitz has reported that upon receiving the treatment the tiger is no longer scratching, is enjoying normal behavior and will undergo evaluation in the near future.

By Rachel Avraham, staff writer at United with Israel