Phosphagenics’ latest dairy cow trial has failed as the company tries to find a more commercially attractive way to turn its flagship drug into a cash cow.

The trial was a test of it tocopheryl phosphate mixture or TPM in pellet form as a treatment for mastitis in dairy cows – a painful udder inflammation which is the most common disease afflicting dairy herds.

The trial found fewer cows needed mastitis treatment, but the pellets had no effect on milk quality and fertility.

The company’s (ASX:POH) shares dumped 10.5 per cent at the open to hit 1.7c.

In previous studies an oral drench successfully hit all three targets, but it’s a more time consuming way of getting the medication into the cow.

“This latest trial was designed to assess if TPM could provide similar benefits when delivered in a pelleted dairy ration,” the company said.

“Unfortunately, when the selected dose of TPM was included in a pelleted dairy ration with key nutrients, it did not replicate the successful outcomes seen when delivered as an oral drench.”

They think the problem is due to stomach numbers: cows have four.

Where oral drenches – a liquid – bypass the first three stomachs so the digestion more closely resemble a single stomach species such as pigs, the edible pellet is exposed to the full fermentation process.

Earlier this week Phosphagenics had a win when poultry trials suggested TPM might help with heat stress in chickens.

Stockhead is seeking comment from Phosphagenics.