Blis Technologies' K12 oral health probiotic proven to crowd out 'bad' bacteria in humans is to be tested as a treatment for dog bad breath.
The Dunedin-based NZX-listed bioscience company said the recent success of a first phase trial on dogs has encouraged an expanded trial.
Blis K12 has already demonstrated its ability to inhibit bacteria responsible for severe bad breath in humans, and has recently been approved by the US Federal Drug Administration as effective and able to have greater label application than only as a dietary supplement.
The Dunedin dog pilot trial used either a liquid or solid dose form, using animals volunteered by staff at the Otago Polytechnic School of Veterinary Nursing.
"The results from this small pilot trial were encouraging enough to commence a longer, extended dosing trial in dogs, which started in Dunedin last week," John Hale, programme leader at Blis Technologies, said in a statement.
The trial found the probiotic was able to inhibit about half of the various bacteria in a dog's mouth.
Bacterial infections in dog and cat teeth and gums are an increasing problem, Hale said. While Blis is currently concentrating on bacterial bad breath in dogs, the company hopes research could expand to animal teeth and gums.
"This research represents further evidence that the Blis K12 probiotic is a highly versatile organism and plays an important role in the company's commercial strategy," chief executive Barry Richardson said.
"We believe that the early data points to a beneficial effect in dogs, and we would expect further studies to confirm this effect before commercialisation in the animal market."
The shares last traded at seven-tenths of a cent on Friday, valuing the company at $3.3 million.