Australian university scientists are partnering with veterinary pharmaceutical company Neoculi to develop a new drug to treat Giardia.

Giardia is a common intestinal infection that affects 15 per cent of dogs and approximately 12 per cent of cats.

Professor Sanjay Garg, pharmaceutical scientist from the University of South Australia, said that existing treatments on the market have significant drawbacks, toxic side effects, and limited effectiveness due to parasitic resistance requiring multiple treatments.

“The drug we are developing is safe and effective in one single dose. We are aiming to produce a palatable formulation that pets will take without any resistance. It should be available within three years.”

The $282,339 project is being funded by the Federal Government’s ARC Linkage Grant program.

Currently 40 per cent of Australian households own a dog and 27 per cent own a cat, and the costs of this ownership equate to roughly $12 billion per year, with veterinary bills accounting for around 25 per cent.

“It costs each household around $1627 per dog each year and $962 per cat, so anything we can do to make veterinary drugs more cost effective is a win-win for animals and owners alike.”

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