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Promisia gets R&D funding from Callaghan for canine dietary supplement

Thursday 27th April 2017

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Promisia Integrative, which makes a dietary supplement for sore joints, will receive funds from Callaghan Innovation for research and development for a new supplement for canines. Its shares surged 19 percent to 3.8 cents.

According to the company, the grant will reimburse 40 percent of the total cost to undertake a two-year approved programme of research and development. 

Its flagship product is Arthrem, a dietary supplement for joint support for humans. The proprietary extract made from the medicine herb Artemisia annua was originally tested as a malaria treatment in Papua New Guinea. It is grown for Promisia on a farm in Tanzania.  

Chief scientist Sheena Hunt told BusinessDesk said the R&D will focus on the new canine product and the aim was to launch it sometime this year. She said the biggest challenge is that the extract is extremely bitter and "it's quite tricky to get dogs to eat it." She said, however, "it's a huge market" given that 20 percent of dogs over age one suffer from osteoarthritis and 90 percent over eight do and there is a lack of good long-term solutions in the market. The funds will be used for clinical trials and the aim is to launch the product sometime this year, she said. 

“Promisia’s point of difference is that the company produces natural therapeutic products that are supported by robust scientific evidence of safety and efficacy. Receipt of this grant from Callaghan Innovation allows us to enter the next phase of our extensive R&D programme," said Hunt.

Callaghan Innovation provided financial support for extensive in vitro studies and the human clinical trial of Arthrem from 2013-2015.  

Separately the company said Arthrem has been listed as a complementary medicine with the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia.

Current rules in New Zealand prevent manufacturers of dietary supplements from making any therapeutic claims, even if there is clinical evidence of such efficacy, the company said. Regulations, however, are different in Australia.

"Listing as a complementary medicine allows us to make evidence-based claims in our advertising and marketing. This means that in Australia we can refer to our published clinical trial evidence that Arthrem can reduce pain and stiffness associated with osteoarthritis," said Hunt. 

Earlier this month it said sales for the first quarter ended March 31 have continued the positive trend established in 2016. The quarterly sales of $643,588 were up by 169 percent from the same period in 2016. 

(BusinessDesk receives assistance from Callaghan Innovation to cover the commercialisation of innovation)



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