Entrepreneurs seek to bring new products to veterinarians and the animal health market

Animal Health Investment Forum participants look for backers for innovation.
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Oct 01, 2013
By dvm360.com staff

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:


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)
> 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.

> 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.


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.
> Sustained-release formulations added to drugs that developers say will mitigate the risk of a burst of active ingredients and minimize frequent visits to the veterinarian.

> 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 diabetes.

> Agricultural LED lighting that recreates the spectrum chickens or other animals actually see, resulting in energy savings and increased production, developers say.

> 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.