PharmAust, maker of an anti-cancer drug for both humans and dogs, says they can give canines a higher dose with their long-awaited new formulation.

In April last year PharmAust (ASX:PAA) received the green light to begin testing its doggy cancer pill, which uses elements of de-worming drug monepantel.

But the original formulation tasted so bad that the company had to go back to the drawing board: even within a capsule the risk of a dog biting into it and never accepting the pill again was too high.

The new — less vile tasting — pill was completed towards the end of 2018.

New data from trials of the latest iteration has shown that the treatment of canines with monepantel under different dietary conditions and with different ‘excipient formulations’ demonstrated that higher-than-expected doses of monepantel can be delivered in a single tablet.

Excipients are agents included in tablets that help shape or dissolve the tablet but are not the active ingredient itself.

“With a certain specific combination of diet and excipient, twice the amount of monepantel can be delivered into the bloodstream of dogs following administration of just one tablet,” the company said.

“This means that the treatment of canine cancers with monepantel by the veterinarian and the owner can be made much simpler.”

The company’s shares were flat on the news at 4.1c.