Cannabis play CannPal Animal Therapeutics has won ethics approval to test its marijuana-based pain relief on dogs at five times the estimated doseage.

The drug, known as CPAT-01, was “well-tolerated, with no adverse events reported and significant levels of absorption achieved” in early Phase 1A trials held in May.

Ethics approval now allows further testing to start this month on 48 dogs in a Phase 1B trial.

Clinical trials are generally divided into three phases. Phase 1 focuses on safety, Phase 2 tests for effectiveness and Phase 3 examines whether a new drug is an improvement on existing treatment. Sometimes trials are divided into parts A and B, where a B stage is more rigorous.

CannPal (ASX:CP1) will now undertake further safety testing including a dog’s ability to tolerate five times the estimated dose.

Early next year the microcap hopes to start testing CPAT-01 on cats with animal health researcher Eurofins.

It’s planning an initial study with diseased dogs this year and is also starting the process of US drug approval.

CannPal listed in October after raising $6 million selling shares at 20c. The shares gained 3 per cent today to 19c, valuing it at about $8 million.

Cannpal isn’t making any money yet.

It spent $1.2 million last year, leaving $5.1 million in the kitty with plans to spend $538,000 this quarter.

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“The speed with which CannPal has moved to the next stage of our research is indicative of our commitment to progressing our clinical development plans on time,” said CannPal founder Layton Mills.

“We look forward to further updating the market on the results of this study, which are expected in Q3 2018.”