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Lifesaving Benefits of Early Canine Lymphoma Diagnosis

A Paw-sitive Path to Health

“Did you know a quarter of dogs will develop cancer at some point, and the risk increases to 50 per cent when they are over the age of 10 - according to the Veterinary Cancer Society?” explains Kylie Baracz who investigated for us the latest advances to combat canine lymphoma. 

It’s National Pet Cancer Awareness Month this November, and local biotech company PharmAust Ltd is calling for all dog owners to regularly inspect their dogs for any lumps and bumps that seem out of the ordinary.

November 7th marks National Canine Lymphoma Awareness Day, a day to highlight one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in dogs! Lymphoma occurs in the white blood cells of the immune system. Symptoms can include tumours, lethargy, weight loss and loss of appetite.

“The key to a good prognosis with canine lymphoma is early diagnosis, and this particular form of cancer is very rapidly progressive, so it’s important to act quickly,” said Dr Kim Agnew, principal investigator of PharmAust’s anti-cancer drug trial for dogs with B-Cell lymphoma.

Dr Agnew is leading a team of highly qualified veterinary oncologists in New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia who are evaluating PharmAust’s trial drug Monepantel (MPL) in dogs that have been newly diagnosed with B-Cell Lymphoma and have not started any treatment. The company also has trial centres in New Zealand and the United States evaluating the drug.

“Monepantel is shown to be a safe and effective cancer treatment with an overall clinical benefit of 35 per cent and a median Time to Progression of 28 days,” explained Dr Agnew.

Owners rated their dogs daily and recorded a Quality of Life (QoL) score between 1 (very poor) and 10 (normal) in the owner’s diary. The median QoL score for the 43 evaluable dogs across the entire study was high at eight. In the study, 74.4 per cent of dogs were rated more than out of 10.

A presentation and a video providing further information about the Phase 2 veterinary clinical study and future directions can be found here.

PharmAust plans to use this data to open an Investigational New Animal Drug application with the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine and proceed with pivotal studies in 2024 to support product registration.

“The use of MPL for canine lymphoma offers disease stabilisation combined with a canine and owner safety profile, which doesn’t exist currently in the therapeutic options,” says Dr Agnew.

“I believe as we learn more about how to best manage canine lymphoma with MPL with ongoing studies, dogs and owners have an option to medicate their dogs at home safely. Most importantly, the family will see their pet manage their cancer with an excellent quality of life.”

Ruby from Brisbane - Testimonial
Veterinary trial testimonies can be found here. Recruitment of dogs for trials with Monepantel has currently been paused.

PharmAust Non-Executive Chairman Dr Roger Aston said Monepantel represents a new treatment approach for the management of B-Cell Lymphoma in dogs by “eliminating the need for chemotherapy and allowing dogs to maintain an excellent quality of life for an extended period of time”.

Approximately 80 per cent of dog owners decline treatment for various reasons, including limited access to specialised veterinary oncologists and veterinary practices that can carry out chemotherapy,” he said.

For instance, concerns over the dog’s quality of life due to the often-severe side effects that are a cornerstone of chemotherapy treatments, complying with the rigours of the chemotherapy regime once initiated, and major safety concerns for owners who handle and/or are exposed to the chemotherapy while caring for their dog, and the high treatment costs.

“MPL is available in tablet form, allowing dogs to be treated at home, without the side effects or safety concerns for owners,” said Dr Aston.

Common lymph nodes targeted by canine lymphoma - Credit: PharmAust 

For more information about the trial, please visit

Written by Kylie BaraczOctober 2023 for Australian Dog Lover (all rights reserved).

About Kylie Baracz

Kylie is a freelance writer, editor and content creator with over 13 years’ experience in the media industry. 

As a former Dogs Life magazine editor, Kylie has a passion for writing for the pet industry and has worked with many pet brands including APDTA, PPGA, PharmAust and Assistance Dogs Australia.

You can find her on Instagram @contentbykylie or at 

About PharmAust

PAA is a clinical-stage company developing targeted cancer therapeutics for both humans and animals. The company specialises in repurposing marketed drugs lowering the risks and costs of development.

PAA’s lead drug candidate is monepantel (MPL), a novel, potent and safe inhibitor of the mTOR pathway - a key driver of cancer. PAA is uniquely positioned to commercialise MPL for treatment of human and veterinary cancers as it advances the drug into Phase 2b clinical trial. 

To discover more, visit

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