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CannPal Animal Therapeutics (CannPal) is an ASX listed animal health company specialising in the development of evidence-based, plant-derived therapeutic products to promote better health and well-being for companion animals.

With the emergence of an aging pet population, and associated age-related diseases, there is little in the way of new and natural therapeutics to help provide relief for conditions such as osteoarthritis. Current treatments are often dated and/or repurposed human drugs which can come with many undesirable side effects in animals.

CannPal identified a gap in the market for natural plant-derived animal therapies that are both safe and effective for promoting better health and wellbeing for companion animals, focusing on compounds derived from cannabis.

Kick-Start helped CannPal discover natural products to promote better health and well-being for companion animals


Plant-derived active ingredients, including cannabinoid compounds, are very sensitive to light, air and stomach acids. By the time they have been extracted from the plant and processed into a delivery format suitable for pets, most of the bioactive compounds have started to degrade.

CaanPal contacted the CSIRO SME Connect team to see if CSIRO could assist in formulating their product. The team introduced them to CSIRO’s Manufacturing and Agriculture & Food Teams to help progress a new plant-derived joint health formulation into a more suitable format. This project was led by Principle Research Scientist Dr ‪Netsanet Shiferaw Terefe, who investigated opportunities to improve the stability of the formulation so it could be more easily incorporated into a therapeutic pet supplement. The end goal was to create a newly formulated therapeutic product for dogs, to promote better absorption and efficacy with improved bioavailability.


CSIRO scientists at the Werribee Food Innovation Centre utilised their patented microencapsulation technology MicroMAX®, originally developed for stabilisation of omega-3 fatty acids and other bioactives in food products. This provides oxidative stability and enhanced delivery of active ingredients to the gastrointestinal tract; often resulting in greater shelf-life for products. CSIRO scientists investigated the optimum formulation and processing conditions to convert CannPal's formulation into a stable powdered ingredient with MicroMAX®, upscaling to 250kg of powder to be incorporated into a joint health supplement for ongoing research and development. This work was co-funded through the CSIRO Kick-Start program which helps start-ups and SMEs access CSIRO R&D capabilities.

Since the conclusion of the project, CannPal has continued the work with CSIRO to optimise and scale up the process and has entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with CSIRO for use of their MicroMAX® technology. CannPal's support teams for the R&D and commercialisation phases of their business has also grown both locally in Australia and overseas in the U.S.

Cannpal has now entered into an manufacturing agreement with a leading Australian pet food manufacturer to produce their joint health supplement for commercialisation in the United States under the new direct to consumer brand, max™ by CannPal. The Company expects to commence sales of the new joint health supplement through a prominent online retailer in May 2020.

"With their experts in microencapsulation and bioactive delivery, CSIRO was able to transform our therapeutic oil into a format suitable for use as a bioactive ingredient, providing a key point of difference for our joint health supplement. Their contribution has provided significant value not only to our R&D activities, but also to our commercialisation journey."

— Layton Mills, Founder and Managing Director, CannPal

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For more information and to apply, get in touch with our CSIRO Kick-Start Program team:

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