First Key ‘Cannabis For Pets’ Study Conducted

Tuesday, 16 November 2021, 11:45 amPress Release: Hale Animal Health A New Zealand company that’s…

A New Zealand company that’s set to be among the first
in the world to register cannabis medicines for pets has
successfully completed its first study involving

Celebrating the launch
of Best Life supplements for senior dogs and adult and
senior cats: Leila de Koster, Managing Director Hale Animal

Hale Animal Health’s Managing Director,
Leila de Koster, says while the research is commercially
sensitive, and the findings will be closely guarded, it
nonetheless marks a major early milestone.

‘Pilot pharmacokinetic study of CBD treatment in healthy
dogs’, the study saw a group of healthy dogs treated
orally with what was deemed an investigational veterinary
product. Blood samples were then taken periodically, which
among other things detected CBD concentration levels and the
rate it cleared the animals’ bodies.

“The study confirmed
our hypothesis around how best to dose, supporting our
desired dosing regime. It confirmed the bioavailability, or
broadly speaking the absorption, of our investigational
product and so overall we’re delighted,” says Ms de

Extensive R&D work is now underway in the
quest for Hale to achieve approval in New Zealand and
Australia for CBD veterinary-prescribed medicines, with the
submission of the company’s first data package for
regulators to assess planned for the first half of

“Hale is aiming to be one of the first in the
world to deliver clinically trialled and registered
cannabidiol-based products for pets. It’s a long road but
this pharmacokinetic study represents a key first step,”
says Ms de Koster.

Part-owned by medicinal cannabis
company Helius Therapeutics, Hale Animal Health is based at
Helius’ massive 8,800sqm state-of-the-art indoor facility
in East Auckland.

In July, Helius became New
Zealand’s first medicinal cannabis business to be awarded
a GMP Licence to Manufacture Medicines. The Medicinal
Cannabis Agency has since announced the verification and
availability of two new local medicinal cannabis

Just as the country’s Medicinal Cannabis
Scheme has enabled the local development and manufacturing
of cannabis therapeutics for humans, creating CBD products
for pets is now also achievable in New Zealand. While it’s
novel here, Ms de Koster says the sector is growing rapidly

Chief Executive of Helius
Therapeutics, Carmen Doran, says it’s exciting to be
working alongside Hale on the journey to obtain official
registration of CBD prescription products for pets that vets
can then prescribe with confidence.

“CBD will be a
game-changer for many Kiwi pet owners and their suffering
pets. Just as Helius is rolling out an R&D pipeline of
activity and novel therapeutics, so too is Hale. The fact
that many at Helius have considerable experience in animal
health is also proving a huge advantage,” says Ms

Obtaining registration for approved medicinal
cannabis products for pets requires considerable data and
clinical trials. Hale’s work is set to fill an
international void of clinical information, on the likes of
the efficacy of CBD products for pets.

“CBD is
highly effective for treating the likes of pain and
inflammation in humans, and we believe it’s no different
for animals. All mammals have an endocannabinoid system with
receptors that work with cannabinoids, the active substance
in medicinal cannabis,” says Ms Doran.

believed CBD can treat pet anxiety, stress, nausea, skin
conditions, arthritis, and seizures, and Hale will work hard
to prove this with trials and reliable clinical

Ms de Koster says Kiwis are keen to access
cannabidiol-based products to naturally alleviate their
pets’ pain and suffering.

“Local pet owners are
hugely supportive of our work to develop and deliver CBD
products to help their much-loved furry friends.
Fortunately, we’ve already got natural supplements on the
shelf that they can get in behind and back, which helps to
fund Hale’s critical cannabis R&D work,” she

Since launching early this year, Hale’s
Vitality Plus natural liquid supplement range has been
selling well in vet clinics and pet specialty shops,
including PETstock stores, across New Zealand.

Hale has rolled out its Best Life supplements for senior
dogs and adult and senior cats, with its next product
release, in 2022, aimed at puppies, kittens, and active

“Tailored to the life stage of the pet, these
liquid supplements are the first of their kind in New
Zealand and they’re packed with essential omegas,
antioxidants, prebiotics and superfoods. As we say:
‘Squeeze some health into every feed… because prevention
is the best medicine for them too’. Better still, pets
love the taste,” she says.

The Hale brand continues
to grow. The company is a proud sponsor of Barkley Manor –
a popular new local television show which showcases a doggie
day-care centre in Grey Lynn, Auckland.

“Kiwi pet
owners have got in behind Hale which is really energising us
to return the favour. We can’t wait to help the lives of
much-loved companion animals, both here and eventually
overseas, by delivering world-leading approved medicinal
cannabis products for pets,” says Leila de


Hale Animal Health is committed to elevating the
quality of life of every pet. Based in Auckland, New
Zealand, Hale is working to develop one of the world’s
first clinically trialled and registered medicinal cannabis
medicines for pets. In addition to future cannabis derived
prescription medicines, Hale now offers a range of
scientifically formulated pet supplements, crafted from
premium natural ingredients – backed by the latest animal
health data. As animal lovers, Hale feels dutybound to do
everything it can to improve pets’

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