Kansas City Animal Health Corridor 2011 A Success
2011 Homecoming Dinner
This year's KC Animal Health Homecoming Dinner attracted more than 750 representatives of the global animal health industry. Highlights included honoring Joerg Ohle as this year's Iron Paw Award recipient, and a special appearance by Ty Murray, nine-time world champion rodeo athlete and animal advocate. The Corridor celebrated the KC region's livestock and agricultural roots, in addition to the attraction of 21 new or expanded companies, more than 1,300 new jobs, and nearly $1 billion in new capital investment over the past six years.
KC Animal Health Investment Forum
On August 30, 14 companies from 10 different U.S. states, New Zealand and Australia presented their business plans to investors in the hopes of securing needed funding and support. Nearly 200 venture capitalists, investors and industry representatives heard the presentations and had the opportunity to network with company principals. Held in Kansas City, the event has resulted in more than $25 million raised and several licensing deals for the companies presenting in the first two forums.
Argenta Selects Corridor for New Lab, Office
Argenta, a global provider of drug development services and contract product manufacturing for the animal health industry, will locate a new lab in the Bioscience and Technology Business Center (BTBC) in Lawrence, Kan., creating 27 new jobs and investing $500,000 in laboratory equipment. In addition, AlcheraBio, a leading clinical research support provider that is wholly owned by Argenta, will be creating 11 jobs in Kansas City, Kan. The new jobs created represent a total annual payroll of $2.8 million within the next five years. argentaglobal.com
Homecoming 2011: Corridor Corral
The sixth annual KC Animal Health Corridor Homecoming dinner, held August 29, celebrated the region's livestock and agricultural heritage that laid the foundation for today's global animal health industry.
More than 750 animal health executives, representing 158 animal health companies from around the world, attended Homecoming this year at Hale Arena, home of the 112-year-old American Royal. Guests gathered for a cocktail reception, Jack Stack BBQ dinner, and updates on important Corridor developments. The evening culminated with an appearance by nine-time World Champion rodeo athlete, Ty Murray.
This year's speakers included David Fowler, 2011 chairman of the American Royal and office managing partner for KPMG. Mr. Fowler and the evening's host, George Heidgerken, chair of the KC Animal Health Corridor Advisory Board and CEO of Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, entered the arena on a wagon pulled by Tim and Terry, the University of Missouri School of Veterinary Medicine mule team.
Guests also heard from Bob Marcusse, president and CEO of the Kansas City Area Development Council. Bob detailed successful recruitment and expansion projects that bring the Corridor's total job attraction to more than 1,300 and capital investment to nearly $1 billion since 2006.
Mr. Marcusse also had the honor of announcing a brand new success – Argenta, a global provider of drug development services and contract product manufacturing for the animal health industry, will locate a new lab facility and office in the KC Animal Health Corridor. This investment will create a total of 38 new jobs in the Corridor.
Daryl Pint, CEO of Ceva Biomune, discussed his company's new $15 million poultry vaccine production facility in Lenexa, Kan. The company also announced this year that their North American headquarters will remain in the KC Animal Health Corridor.
Following an update on other important Corridor developments such as the launch of the Center for Animal Health Innovation, workforce development efforts and legislative progress, Tim Barr, site director for the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility (NBAF), provided a construction update as the facility begins to take shape in Manhattan, Kan.
Following inspiring words from Ty Murray, guests were serenaded from the arena to "Happy Trails to You," performed by the evening's live entertainment, Rex Hobart and The Misery Boys.
Please visit kcanimalhealth.com to view a photo gallery from this year's event.
2011 KC Animal Health Investment Forum
2011 marked the third year the KC Animal Health Corridor hosted the Animal Health Investment Forum. The forum offers one of the only opportunities in the world for companies in the animal health sector to present their business venture to potential corporate and venture investors. Presenting companies were seeking between $500,000 and $20 million in funding.
This year's forum attracted 200 attendees who came to hear 14 early stage animal health companies pitch their innovations. This year's presenting companies hailed from 10 different states as well as New Zealand and Australia. Ten venture funds were represented at this year's event, as well as 56 animal health companies looking for partnership opportunities on new technologies.
"We were pleased with the quality and product diversity of the applications for this year's forum and continue to have international companies presenting at the event," said Kim Young, vice president of bioscience development for the Kansas City Area Development Council.
This year's companies were nearly all first-time presenters at the KC Animal Health Investment Forum, offering new opportunities to this year's attendees. Some of the diverse products featured at this year's forum included a clinical research organization specifically for animal health companies; a vaccine for PRRSV; high value DNA based therapies for rare infectious & metabolic diseases; more effective, less toxic chemotherapy drugs; tests for bull fertility and bovine tuberculosis; genetic data management and storage technology; and a remote veterinary diagnostics instrument.
In the first two years of the Animal Health Investment Forum, presenting companies have raised more than $25 million and several have secured licensing deals for their products/services.
For example, Advanced Animal Diagnostics presented at the 2009 and 2010 Animal Health Investment Forum. In 2011, the company announced it had raised $11 million in Series B equity financing to assist in their research to diagnose mastitis, the costliest disease for dairy producers worldwide.
Also this year, 2009 and 2010 Investment Forum alum SmartVet secured a licensing agreement with AgriLabs, based in St. Joseph, Missouri, to distribute its AIM GelCaps, an insecticide for use on cattle.
Grant Weyer, president of SmartVet, said, "The Investment Forum was an extraordinarily successful opportunity for us. Steve Schram, CEO of AgriLabs, and I inked the agreement, and I have returned to Kansas City in preparation of the launch of our remote applied delivery system. As we develop new technologies and add products to our pipeline, we will continue to rely on the Animal Health Corridor, and particularly the Investment Forum, as the primary gateways to industry-leading companies like AgriLabs, for access to the animal health marketplace."