Hale Animal Health has launched its first two premium pet supplement products as it continues its work to develop New Zealand’s first line of medicinal cannabis products for pets.
Partially owned by New Zealand’s largest medicinal cannabis company, Helius Therapeutics, Hale is a consumer brand that has been working on by Managing Director Leila de Koster since announcing the Helius partnership in May last year.
“This is Hale – healthy and healthy! Our two Vitality Plus products for cats and dogs represent our first nutraceutical products. Vitality Plus is a premium oil blend designed to complement a pet’s basic diet and provide a balanced source of healthy fats and essential fatty acids. In the coming months, we will be releasing a range of natural supplements packed full of superfoods, with the aim of exporting as well, “he said.
Ms de Koster said the creation of the first set of CBD-based veterinary medicines approved in New Zealand remains absolutely critical to Hale’s overall strategy. In fact, Hale could be the first person to register an veterinary drug cannabis anywhere in the world.
At the same time, Helius is New Zealand’s first licensed marijuana producer to partner in the animal health category.
Developing a clinically proven cannabidiol (CBD) prescription product for pets, which veterinarians can confidently prescribe, is just as important for Helius Therapeutics. Based in Tamaki East Auckland, construction of Helius’ state-of-the-art manufacturing facility is nearing completion.
What’s more, the cannabis drug company brings its own animal health talent and experience. Helius’ New Chief Executive, Carmen Doran, runs Novartis Animal Health Operations in Scotland, while Head of Helius Quality, Bruce Wallace, was previously Global Head of Quality at Argenta.
The country’s new Medicinal Cannabis scheme allows local cannabis production. It also allows the development and delivery of health products and cannabis recipes for pets. Although a new concept in New Zealand, the sector is experiencing rapid growth globally, with significant domestic and export opportunities.
Ms de Koster said in order to get the first prescription of New Zealand’s medicinal cannabis product for animals, a lot of data will be collected, and clinical trials conducted, over the next two years. Hale will then present an extensive file of findings to ACVM (Agricultural Compounds and Veterinary Compounds) regulators in his bid for registration.
He said the barriers to people trying CBD products for their pets in the US include the fact that there is still little scientific research showing its efficacy and it is too difficult to measure the effectiveness of the products.
“Kiwi pet owners and veterinarians will likely have the same concerns. That’s why we provide solid evidence through clinical trials and registration processes for our CBD products in New Zealand, “he said.
The company’s first CBD products will be targeted at treating pain in dogs with osteoarthritis and future cannabis-based products could include cannabinoid chews to help with anxiety, and shampoos and conditioners to help treat skin conditions.
Meanwhile, Hale’s newly launched Vitality Plus product products for cats and dogs will be available at specialty pet stores and veterinary clinics across New Zealand. Liquid supplements, designed to complement basic pet diets, include cold-pressed flaxseed oil, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, sustainably sourced tuna oil, green shell shellfish oil and vitamin E as antioxidants.
In the coming months, Hale will then release the first round of its Best Life series which includes supplements tailored to the pet’s life stage, full of nutrients and superfoods. The first two products in this range are for adult and senior cats and dogs, with supplements for active puppies, kittens, and dogs to follow.
All ingredients have been carefully selected for their proven health benefits for pets and are undergoing a thorough research and development process to ensure a premium, high quality product suitable for pets.
Hale and Helius believe that their common goal of providing therapeutic cannabis products and medicines will be a game-changer for many Kiwi pet owners, who are desperate to naturally alleviate the pain and suffering of their companions. CBD has been shown to be effective at treating pet anxiety, stress, nausea, skin conditions, arthritis, and seizures – among other conditions.
“The reason most cited by pet owners in the US and Canada for buying CBD for their pets is to help with back and joint pain. We recognize that this is one of the most common problems that pets face, and that is why our clinical trial will focus on treating pain in dogs with osteoarthritis, ”said Ms de Koster.
Home to at least 1.1 million dogs and 1.5 million cats, pet owners in New Zealand alone already spend $ 1.8 billion on pet products and services each year, and demand is increasingly shifting to natural health products.
Managing Director Hale said spending on pet products internationally was enjoying strong growth. According to a report recently published in the US, spending on pet products continues to break records year after year.
In fact, spending by US pet owners increased by more than $ 3 billion from 2017 to 2018 – an annual growth rate of 4.3% which is in line with New Zealand’s 4.5% annual growth rate.
“We are proud to be at the forefront of animal health. We are excited to be one of the first animal welfare companies in the world to conduct clinical trials and register CBD drugs for pets.
“Cannabis-focused products will follow, but a first is our range of premium pet supplements. We ask Kiwi pet owners to look for these new local brands and support us on this great journey to improve the lives of our animal friends, ”said Leila de Koster.