The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first drug to stimulate appetite in dogs, Aratana Therapeutics Inc, which developed the treatment, said on Tuesday.

The drug, Entyce, is a flavored oral liquid that works by mimicking ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and will be launched by February 2017, the company said.

Nearly 10 million dogs suffer from a lack of appetite, Chief Executive Steven Peter said in a statement.

Earlier this year, Aratana secured regulatory approval for Galliprant, a therapeutic designed to control pain and inflammation associated with osteoarthritis in dogs.

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The company's drug pipeline includes a string of experimental drugs for pets, with serious medical conditions such as cancer, viral diseases and allergies.

The Kansas City-based company's shares were trading up about 10 percent at $6.68 after the bell.