• Sherry Scullion

Animal health innovators set to present at Investment Forum



Companies from the United States, England and Canada will vie for funding.

Torigen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was this year’s Innovation Award is presented by Animalytix, the industry’s leading public clearinghouse for sales aggregated market share information.

Schools of deep-pocketed investors will size up entrepreneurial minnows Aug. 21 at the 10th annual KC Animal Health Investment Forum.

The event, taking place at the Kansas City Convention Center, will allow 12 young companies searching for investment dollars or guidance to pitch their product or service to a panel of judges and about 400 potential partners.

The “Shark Tank”-like format will end with one of the 12 participating companies earning the Innovation Award as the top presenter.

“The Global Animal Health Investment Forum is the premier stage for emerging companies to showcase innovations and technologies that have the potential to revolutionize the animal health industry,” said Kimberly Young, president of the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor.

The 12 presenters and the focus of their pitches are:

  • Applied LifeSciences and Systems Poultry (Raleigh, North Carolina): Advanced vaccination system for day-old chicks that identifies healthy chicks and delivers injectable vaccines.

  • Chalante (Cambridge, England): Bioactive, nature-inspired molecules to provide cost-effective products for the health, productivity and well-being of animals.

  • Chelation Partners Inc. (Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada): High-affinity, iron-specific chelating polymer.

  • Forza10 Discoveries Corp. (Orlando, Florida): Dietetic, nutraceutical pet food.

  • Genoscopy (St. Louis): Diagnostic tool to extract biomarkers from feces.

  • Illustris Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Palo Alto, California): Physiological penetration of active ingredients between cells rather than through them.

  • Innogenics (Harvard, Massachusetts): Genomic- and molecularly-based diagnostics and precise medical information for companion animals suffering from cancer.

  • MBF Therapeutics (Ambler, Pennsylvania): Checkpoint inhibitor, immunotherapy technology.

  • Scollar Inc. (Santa Rosa, California): Open-platform smart collar, mobile app and cloud service for the evolving needs of the animal care industry.

  • Scullion Strategy Group (Greensboro, North Carolina): Mobile diagnostic test to determine semen quality using a smartphone-based device.

  • Torigen Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Farmington, Connecticut): Autologous immunotherapeutic cancer vaccine for dogs.

  • WoofTrax (Easthampton, Massachusetts): Help pet brands to market to pet owners through digital targeting.

Appearing at the Investment Forum has paid off for some companies. Organizers reported that presenters have raised nearly $300 million since 2010 or agreed to licensing and distribution deals.

Among those companies are Mazen Animal Health, FitBark Inc., Prommune Inc., Jaguar Animal Health and software developer BabelBark.

“The Investment Forum … gave us exposure to a mix of people with different backgrounds that were open-minded and ready to listen to the newest technology,” said Roy Stein, founder and CEO of BabelBark. “During Global Animal Health Week, we connected with significant investors, potential partners and clients that provided us with enough traction to secure funding and grow our business.”

BabelBark reported receiving $4.5 million in Series A funding in 2018.

This article was originally published in the August 2018 issue of Today's Veterinary Business.

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