From high rise city apartments to the rolling hills of the countryside, you’re likely to find a dog or two snuggled up on the living room couch. Studies have proven what us dog loving people already know- that the human-canine bond is special. Owning a dog reduces stress, alleviates anxiety and even can prolong your lifespan. Simply put, humans need dogs.
Just like regular children, fur children get sick too. With the lifespan of a dog (a heartbreakingly short) 10-15 years, pet owners are likely going to deal with illness at some point.
As one of the companies researching both human and animal therapeutics to provide optimal clinical outcomes, PharmAust (ASX: PAA) specialise in repurposing marketed drugs to lower the risks and costs of treatment development.
PharmAust’s leading drug candidate is called Monepantel (MPL). It affects a biochemical pathway that influences cancer growth and neurodegenerative diseases. Monepantel is a registered drug that is already used in sheep, with the Company now re-purposing it for both cancer and COVID-19. Yep, the drug is showing antiviral properties and could be a major game changer… watch this space.
The drug was well tolerated in phase 1 human trials and is currently in phase 2b trials in dogs with B-Cell lymphoma. An interim analysis of the canine trial has shown that the drug is delivering promising results, with dogs receiving the treatment achieving blood plasma levels of MPL required to suppress cancer growth with no adverse side effects.
The Company is hoping to use these encouraging results to facilitate and commence recruitment for a Phase 3 registration trial.
Chairman of PharmAust, Dr Roger Aston is hopeful that “the treatment regimen for canine patients with B-Cell Lymphoma may have applicability to other anti-cancer treatments in companion animals and in humans.” He hopes to “examine how monepantel can be integrated into the current standard of care” for aggressive late stage canine cancers.”
PharmAust is tapping into a lucrative market. According to a recent report the global veterinary medicine market size was estimated at USD$29.2 billion in 2020 and is expected to expand at a rate of 7.4% from 2021 to 2028 as pet ownership becomes increasingly common and vet care becomes more accessible.
Canine lymphoma is relatively common and represents approximately 20% of new cancer diagnoses in dogs. It is most common in middle-aged and older dogs. Treatment can cost tens of thousands of dollars and complete remission is rare.
PharmAust is doing more than research. They are giving pet owners options. Options beyond euthanasia and costly, extensive cancer treatments with nasty side effects. They’re giving owners the option to enhance the quality of life of our dogs, even in their final years. You can’t put a price on that.