Anatara’s drug aims to treat pig diarrhoea. Picture: MATHEW FARRELL
Anatara’s drug aims to treat pig diarrhoea. Picture: MATHEW FARRELL

Relief at last for holdup of pig-poo drug

BRISBANE-based drug developer Anatara Lifesciences has finally obtained Australian approval to sell its pig-diarrhoea treatment, after a two-year wait with the Commonwealth regulator.

The approval of the label for Anatara's treatment, Detach - derived from pineapple stems, was announced on Monday.

The label says Detach can help control diarrhoea for piglets and help increase changes of survival for beasts yet to wean.

Anatara first listed on the stockmarket in 2014, with a prospectus aiming for a launch in Australia by 2016. Some delays struck internally yet an application was lodged with the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority by 2016.

But bureaucratic hold-ups then ensued; the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority earlier this year conceded delays had struck some drug applications. It followed a relocation of the authority to Armidale from Canberra.

Anatara's then chief executive Mel Bridges earlier this year blasted the hold-up as "ridiculous".

Its chairwoman Sue MacLeman on Monday told The Courier-Mail that the company was happy with the approval and, while delays had occurred, "it was a smooth process".

The approval was a demonstration of Anatara's ability to develop a product, Ms MacLeman said.

Any launch depends on global animal drug giant Zoetis, which has marketing rights to Detach.

Any launch depends on global animal drug giant Zoetis, which has marketing rights to Detach. Zoetis said it intended to "explore its place in our diverse portfolio" but would not unveil any commercialisation timeline.

APVMA has been contacted for comment.

Anatara shares were up 2.5c at 42.5c on Monday. Shares have crumbled from $1.83 last year, with investors unimpressed with a revenue deal with Zoetis revealed in May this year.

Anatara for 2018 posted a $3.6 million loss, with research and development tax incentives providing less income in the year. It burned through $3.1 million in cash and had $7.7 million in the bank.



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