At the KC Animal Health Investment Forum, nervous developers speak to curious investors about products that may exist only
in a lab but that could revolutionize veterinary medicine and other animal health industries.
At this year's forum, which took place Aug. 27 in conjunction with CVC Kansas City, startup companies pitched their dreams.
Here are some of the highlights:
> Antiviral drugs for animals similar to the HIV "cocktail" used in humans. Drugs to treat feline herpes and feline immunodeficiency virus
are currently in clinical trials.
At the Animal Health Investment Forum in Kansas City, startup and midstage companies seek funding to bring their products
to market. (PHOTOS COURTESY OF KANSAS CITY AREA DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL)
> A host-directed immunotherapy product that "reawakens" the body's own immune defenses to fight infection, according to developers. With this product, a
small peptide engages and activates the cells responsible for innate immunity, minimizing the need for antibiotic use—and
the need for bacteria to develop evasive mechanisms, which causes bacterial resistance. The drug, currently being tested in
pigs experiencing exudative epidermitis ("greasy pig" syndrome) due to Staphylococcus hyicus, can be used in bacterial, viral and fungal infections.
> Sustained-release formulations added to drugs that developers say will mitigate the risk of a burst of active ingredients and minimize frequent visits to
Victoria Stilwell of Animal Planet’s It’s Me or the Dog addressed Kansas City Animal Health Corridor Homecoming participants
Aug. 26. Stilwell, a trainer who uses positive methods to manage severe canine aggression, says evidence is mounting against
the effectiveness of dominance-based methods.
> An equine monitoring device—wireless, noninvasive and monitored remotely—worn on a horse's foot or ankle that tracks blood pressure, pulse, hydration,
respiration and blood volume. The device was adapted from Department of Defense technology used to monitor soldiers' health.
> Disease-modifying drugs based on recombinant proteins adapted from products being used in human medicine. In active development are a canine erythropoietin
to treat nonregenerative anemia and a B-cell-depleting monoclonal antibody to treat atopic dermatitis, lymphoma and type 1
> Agricultural LED lighting that recreates the spectrum chickens or other animals actually see, resulting in energy savings and increased production,
> Non-allergenic equine protective gear fashioned from Latex and neoprene. These boots and hoof wraps are technologically advanced, developers say, protecting joints
without introducing other problems such as heat damage, allergies and mechanical injuries.