Dr. Hemant Joshi featured in innaugural issue of "International Animal Health Industry"

Animal Health published Wed, 2014-08-27 14:27

One of our Venture Accelerator residents, Dr. Hemant Joshi, has been published in the first issue of a new magazine, International Animal Health Industry. Read his editorial, "One Health - One Mantra for Animal Health Industry" at the following link (page 12):



Dr. Hemant K. Joshi is experienced in the animal health industry, early and late stage pharmaceutical and bioprocess development, technology transfer, assessment, acquisitions and mergers and cGMP manufacturing of biologics. He has worked in various capacities in the private sector at Boehringer-Ingelheim Vetmedica Inc. and Sachem Inc., and in academia at the Universities of Arizona and Nebraska. Hemant received his undergraduate degree from I.I.T. Kanpur, India and graduated from the University of Arizona, USA. Hemant is well published in peer-reviewed journals and an invited speaker at industry events. Most recently, he is CEO and Co-founder of Nika Biochemicals, a veterinary biologics company located in the Venture Accelerator at the Kansas Bioscience Park  in Olathe, Kansas, developing vaccines in the unmet area of infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis and porcine epidemic diarrhea.

Email: joshi@nikabiochem.com




CritiTech Names Mechanical Systems, Inc. As Its Exclusive Drug Manufacturing Equipment Supplier

General published Tue, 2014-08-26 14:17

LAWRENCE, KS – CritiTech, Inc. has named Mechanical Systems, Inc. (MSI) of Wichita, Kan., as its official and exclusive supplier of fine-particle drug manufacturing equipment.

As a long-time partner, MSI has been instrumental in helping CritiTech develop manufacturing equipment that produces commercial quantities of fine-particle drugs using CritiTech’s proprietary supercritical fluid carbon dioxide-based technologies.

MSI has decades of experience designing and constructing manufacturing equipment for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, serving clients such as Boehringer-Ingelheim, Hospira, Bayer, Abbott, Pfizer, and Shering-Plough.

“This is an ideal match for both companies,” said Matthew McClorey, president of CritiTech. “CritiTech is in the business of enabling new and improved drugs with our technology, not constructing manufacturing equipment. Thus, the relationship with MSI allows us to focus on what we do best. We are extremely fortunate to have MSI as our exclusive equipment supplier. Its engineering experience and expertise is outstanding.”

MSI has already built, designed and installed equipment that CritiTech is currently using to provide fine-particle drug development services to its clients. The exclusive supplier agreement with MSI ensures CritiTech will have the commercial engineering expertise required to scale its technology and meet customers’ drug manufacturing demands.

Equipment from MSI will also be used to produce Nanotax®, a novel, fine-particle reformulation of paclitaxel to treat intraperitoneal cancers enabled by CritiTech’s technology. A Phase I Trial for Nanotax that produced positive results was recently completed.

“MSI is very excited about the partnership with CritiTech,” said Greg Johnson, president of MSI. “CritiTech’s technology is unique and very valuable, as evidenced by its ovarian cancer drug, Nanotax. Just as the technology was used to develop Nanotax, we believe it can be used to develop other drugs that are more effective, safer and better tolerated.”

About CritiTech, Inc.
CritiTech is a drug delivery and development company focused on using the company’s proprietary Supercritical Fluid Technology (SCF Technology) to help its clients and partners develop and manufacture unique and differentiated drugs and medical devices. CritiTech specializes in optimizing the delivery of challenging drug substances, potent molecules and poorly soluble compounds. By combining its SCF Technology with its ability to simplify formulations, CritiTech can expand and improve the drug delivery options for oral, injectable, and inhaled drugs, as well as implantable devices.

About Mechanical Systems, Inc.
MSI is a leading mechanical construction firm with support engineering and IT staff. The firm specializes in working with clients that service the biotechnology, pharmaceutical, and chemical fields. MSI has significant experience and expertise in designing, building, and installing equipment used to manufacture biologicals and chemicals. In addition to the mechanical design services provided, MSI also operates three biotechnology facilities in Wichita. These facilities produce a variety of biological products for agriculture and food additives. The agricultural products include bio-fungicides, plant growth promoting bacteria and nitrogen fixing bacteria. These facilities include clean production space, clean packaging suites and analytical laboratories.


9th Annual KC Animal Health Corridor Homecoming

Animal Health published Tue, 2014-08-26 10:12

Last night's 9th Annual KC Animal Health Corridor Homecoming celebrated a long list of accomplishments with more than 850 industry leaders from around the globe.

In breaking news, Simcro, a global animal health company that develops pharmaceutical delivery systems for production and companion animals, announced that it has selected Lawrence, Kansas, as the home of its North American headquarters. The company chose the Corridor due to the high concentration of talent and customer base.

Learn more about Simcro and its expectations of a rapid expansion.

Other notable industry growth announcements included:

  • Arka Organics, an Australian-based company that manufactures and distributes a unique probiotic technology, specializing in animal feed and several other sectors, has established its first office in the Corridor because of its excellent infrastructure and friendly business environment.
  • Animalytix, a leading provider of market intelligence services for the U.S. animal health industry, established fully redundant technology infrastructure at Cosentry’s new data center facility in Lenexa, Kansas, to better serve its customers across North America.
  • FitBark recently graduated from the Sprint Accelerator and has been accepted to present at the 2014 KC Animal Health Investment Forum. FitBark chose to relocate from New York to Kansas City because of the Animal Health Corridor and the region’s vibrant startup community.
  • Jurox, an Australian veterinary pharmaceutical company, selected the KC Animal Health Corridor to establish its U.S. headquarters in June. Since then, Jurox has hired industry veteran Rob McCarthy to lead its Kansas City operation, and as of today is making Alfaxan, its unique anethstetic for dogs and cats, available to U.S. veterinary practitioners.
  • Parnell, which located its North American headquarters in the Corridor last spring, plans to add up to 30 jobs over the next nine months and triple the size of its Overland Park, Kansas offices. On the product side, Parnell is investing heavily in the development of digital technology for dairy farmers and the companion animal market.
  • Stason Animal Health made great progress on a treatment for chronic pancreatitis in canines. Through its subsidiary CK9, the product will be presented at the 2014 KC Animal Health Investment Forum. Stason also continues to make significant investments in Kansas City facilities on the human pharmaceutical side. 


KC Animal Health Corridor Grows to Represent 56 Percent of Global Industry Sales

Animal Health published Tue, 2014-08-26 09:54

New survey reveals increased corporate presence in KC region

August 25, 2014The Kansas City Animal Health Corridor has released new evidence of the global impact of the KC region’s animal health industry concentration. Companies with a strategic location in the KC Animal Health Corridor now represent 56 percent of total worldwide animal health, diagnostics and pet food sales.

The new evidence results from a recent asset survey, unveiled to 850 animal health industry leaders attending tonight’s 9th Annual KC Animal Health Corridor Homecoming.

“This latest survey is a powerful endorsement of nearly a decade of cooperation, teamwork and strategic focus that has driven the activities of the KC Animal Health Corridor effort since 2006,” said Scott Bormann, Corridor Advisory Board chair and vice president of U.S. operations for Merck Animal Health.

Organic industry growth resulting from mergers/acquisitions and corporate expansions within the Corridor have contributed to the KC region’s growing industry concentration. In addition, strategic outreach by the Kansas City Area Development Council to recruit new animal health companies to the region continues to be successful.

“We are so proud of the regional partnership that exists among the economic development, civic, corporate, academic and governmental leadership in the KC Animal Health Corridor,” said Kimberly Young, vice president of bioscience development at the Kansas City Area Development Council. “We are widely recognized as the strongest and most admired team in the global animal health industry.”

Since the KC Animal Health Corridor launched in 2006, 31 animal health companies have located in the KC Animal Health Corridor. These companies have pledged to create 1,368 new jobs resulting in $78.6 million in new payroll. They have made a total $872.5 million capital investment, occupying 1,054,138 million sq. ft. of new space.

A stable base of animal health companies with a U.S. headquarters in the KC Animal Health Corridor has provided a strong foundation for new industry growth. Companies with a U.S. headquarters located within the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor now represent 29 percent of the worldwide sales of animal health products and diagnostics.

The 2014 KC Animal Health Corridor Asset Survey was conducted and analyzed by Axxiom Consulting.

About the KC Animal Health Corridor
The KC Animal Health Corridor, anchored by Manhattan, Kansas, and Columbia, Missouri, is home to more than 300 animal health companies, representing the largest concentration in the world. For more information, visit KCanimalhealth.com.


FlexiLume Dental LED System Receives FDA Approval

Human Health published Mon, 2014-08-18 16:36

Mission, Kansas -  EMCI is proud to announce that the FlexiLume Dental LED System has received regulatory clearance for sale worldwide, including FDA approval and CE mark.

Peter Lucas, COO of EMCI, says, “The FlexiLume represents a paradigm shift in dental workflows that will improve doctor, hygienist, and patient experiences. We are very excited that we can now offer the product to dentists
worldwide, and we believe strongly that it will be very popular.”

“I believe that with this product we have achieved a whole new concept in operatory lighting systems. Access, visibility, and efficiency are very important procedural dependents for success within the operatory; the flexible extension arm delivers the light source directly where it is needed, and satisfies all of these elements. Placement of the light, curing tip, or transdental illumination on the tooth allows the clinician to achieve a “hands free” technique, and makes this system unbelievably easy to use. That alone, is worth the investment,” says Dr. Irwin Boe, inventor and founder of Innovative Products, Inc. Innovative Products, Inc., is a Kansas-based corporation with numerous inventions and patents, and dedicated to constant innovation in the field of dentistry.

James Lucas and Peter Lucas founded EMCI in 2006. Its focus is medical device innovation and development. The company has a solid history in the medical device industry and is currently developing and commercializing a wide array of new, cutting-edge technologies.  For more information: www.emci.co/flexilume.



Pipeline hopefuls can now apply for 2015 class

General published Thu, 2014-08-14 15:51

Regional entrepreneur power group Pipeline Inc. is now accepting applications for its 2015 fellowship class.

Launched in 2006, Pipeline is a group of regional entrepreneurs that builds high-growth companies though a rigorous yearlong business development program and networking among Pipeline members.

Each year the program welcomes 10 to 13 entrepreneurs from Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska. In the last eight years, Pipeline alumni companies as a group generated more than $150 million in revenue and employ more than 1,000 people.

Learn how to apply, http://www.pipelineentrepreneurs.com/apply/


2014 Animal Health Investment Forum is August 26th

Animal Health published Thu, 2014-08-14 12:16

A substanial part of the KC Animal Health Corridor runs through Kansas. Because of its significant animal health industry concentration, the Corridor offers a uniquely supportive environment for early-stage entrepreneurs in the animal health and nutrition industry. The KC Animal Health Investment Forum provides a unique opportunity for venture capital funds, investment firms and animal health companies to hear from emerging companies with the newest technology. The forum showcases animal health and nutrition companies from throughout the world.


Aratana Therapeutics Reports Second Quarter 2014 Results

Animal Health published Tue, 2014-08-12 14:39

KANSAS CITY, Kan., Aug. 12, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  Aratana Therapeutics, Inc. PETX +7.07% , a pet therapeutics company focused on licensing, developing and commercializing innovative biopharmaceutical products for companion animals, today announced its second quarter 2014 results.

"We continue to advance our highly innovative pipeline," stated Steven St. Peter, M.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Aratana Therapeutics.  "This quarter, we were very pleased that we were able to file our third product for licensure – a cancer vaccine to treat dogs with osteosarcoma."

Aratana's diversified portfolio now consists of more than fifteen therapeutic candidates: two have received conditional licensure, one has been submitted for licensure, more than ten are in active development and several additional candidates are in pre-development.

Development Highlights:

  • Aratana is currently enrolling dogs in two studies investigating the use of AT-005, the Company's conditionally licensed monoclonal antibody for treatment of T-cell lymphoma, in combination with chemotherapy. Aratana continues to anticipate making AT-005 available commercially to a limited number of clinics in the fall of 2014.  After receipt of a full license for AT-005 from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), which Aratana continues to expect in 2015, commercial availability will be further expanded.

  • Aratana continues to anticipate full licensure from the USDA of AT-004 in 2014, the Company's conditionally licensed monoclonal antibody for the treatment of B-cell lymphoma.  AT-004 is partnered in the US and Canada.

  • AT-001 (grapiprant, EP4 receptor antagonist for osteoarthritis pain): Aratana continues to enroll the pivotal field effectiveness study in client-owned dogs; Aratana continues to anticipate top-line results in 2014 and first U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval in 2016.  Aratana initiated a pilot field study in client-owned cats in the second quarter.

  • AT-002 (capromorelin, ghrelin agonist for appetite stimulation): Aratana continues to enroll the pivotal field effectiveness trial in client-owned dogs; Aratana continues to anticipate top-line results in the first quarter of 2015 and first FDA approval in 2016.  Aratana initiated a pilot field study in client-owned cats in the second quarter.

  • Aratana filed for a product license from the USDA for AT-014, a novel cancer immunotherapy for the treatment of canine osteosarcoma. This product was licensed exclusively from Advaxis, Inc. in March 2014.

  • AT-003 (bupivacaine extended release injectable suspension for post-operative pain): Aratana is near completion of  a pilot study in client-owned dogs and will be discussing the design of the pivotal field effectiveness with the FDA in coming months; Aratana continues to anticipate the first FDA approval in 2016.  Aratana expects to start a cat pilot lab study in the fourth quarter 2014. 

  • During the quarter, the Company licensed commercial rights to a novel, allogeneic stem cell therapy technology (AT-016).  This FDA-regulated therapy is being developed to allow stem cells from a single donor to be processed to generate more than 1 million doses that can be stored and used to treat multiple dogs with osteoarthritis.  A multi-center, placebo-controlled, dose confirmation study was recently initiated by Aratana's partner, Vet-Stem, Inc.

  • AT-006, the Company's partnered antiviral for treatment of ocular lesions associated with feline ocular herpes infection, closed enrollment on a partially-enrolled pivotal field study in Germany to harmonize the program to enable a concurrent US and EU development plan.  The closed study will not enable a pivotal submission in 2015. 

  • During the quarter, one of Aratana's two products in the Option Programs, the AT-Beta option period was extended until mid-2015. If Aratana elects to move AT-Beta into development it will be developed for seizures in dogs.

  • During the quarter, Aratana completed a proof-of-concept study for its AT-Gamma option program.  Aratana has delivered notice of its intent to exercise a license agreement, and anticipates completing the agreement in 2014.  AT-Gamma is a CRTh2 antagonist, which will be developed for atopic dermatitis in dogs.

  • During the second quarter, the Company presented three peer- reviewed abstracts at the American College of Veterinarians Internal Medicine (ACVIM) meeting; Aratana will be presenting three additional abstracts at the Veterinary Cancer Society meeting in October.

  • For more information, please visit www.aratana.com.



General published Tue, 2014-08-12 11:39

The Kansas Department of Transportation recognizes that an excellent transportation system is essential for the continued prosperity and growth for business owners in Kansas. As small and medium enterprises (SMEs) look towards growth, Kansas understands the important opportunity that both new and increased exporting presents. We would like to do our part to ensure your business needs are met on the road to market. We know each dollar saved on transportation cost is one more spent on r&d, product distribution, marketing and jobs and in turn growing your industry’s bottom dollar.

For that reason, the Kansas Department of Transportation has partnered with the Departments of Commerce and Agriculture to create the Kansas Export Forum where, together, we will identify transportation challenges faced by small and medium-sized businesses and discuss solutions that streamline supply chains and stimulate international trade.   Discussion topics will include transportation infrastructure, regulatory streamlining and other strategies that help support and encourage exports. The program will provide for breakout sessions on liquids, grains and manufacturing, and is scheduled to conclude with a tour of the BNSF Intermodal and Smart Warehousing facilities in Edgerton.

Aug. 27, 2014
8 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Ball Conference Center
21350 W. 153rd St.
Olathe, KS 6606

Click here to register by Aug. 20, 2014.




Agribusiness published Tue, 2014-08-12 11:22

MANHATTAN, Kan. - Heartland Plant Innovations (HPI) has announced the hiring of Dr. Muhammad Asif as its new Chief Scientist.  Asif will be charged with leading HPI’s scientific efforts including novel trait development as well as the Advanced Plant Breeding Services.  HPI offers wheat doubled haploids, wide hybridization/trait introgression, and genotyping as services to customers world-wide.  All services are provided without claim to intellectual property which makes HPI attractive to wheat breeders working on advanced germplasm. 

Asif comes to HPI with over 10 years of experience in wheat improvement including doubled haploids – both maize and microspore method - marker assisted breeding, and variety development.  Asif most recently has served as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Agriculture, Food Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Canada focusing on the development of genetic resistance from pyramiding rust (leaf, stem and stripe) resistance genes.  Asif’s graduate education was received at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada where he co-developed a hard red spring wheat germplasm line (PT771) which exhibits Fusarium Head Blight resistance.  Asif has written extensively, including two books recently published by Springer, USA.  The books are titled “Progress and Opportunities of Doubled Haploid Production”, and “Managing and Breeding Wheat for Organic Systems: Enhancing Competitiveness Ability against Weeds.”    

HPI’s Interim President and Chief Financial Officer, Rob Berard, speaking in regard to Asif’s hiring said “I am very excited to have Asif join HPI.  It was obvious based on his experience in wheat improvement that his research focus aligned with HPI’s mission, however in getting to know him during the interview process it became clear that this his personality was also a fit.  It became a simple decision to hire Asif.  I can’t wait to get him thinking about the work of HPI on a full time basis.  Our customers will benefit greatly, I am confident.”

HPI provides customers with advanced plant breeding services and high-value genetic traits.  HPI’s breeding services include wheat doubled haploids, wide hybridization, and genotyping.   HPI has produced and sold over 40,000 doubled haploids to 21 Universities, 5 USDA labs, and 8 private companies in 5 countries.  In late 2013, HPI relocated into the state-of-the-art Kansas Wheat Innovation Center which provides HPI with the capacity to produce up to 50,000 doubled haploid lines per year as well as development of wheat traits.  As a research partner HPI is sponsoring multiple research programs at Kansas State University focused on wheat and sorghum.  These projects are seeking to increase the yields and end use performance of wheat, based on input from our industry partners. 


Great Plains Capital Conference is September 25th

General published Wed, 2014-08-06 09:54

Are you an ENTREPRENUER looking for funding?
An ANGEL looking for exciting new investment opportunities?
A SUPPORTER of Kansas Innovation?

The 2014 Kansas Day of Innovation including the Eleventh Annual Great Plains Capital Conference will bring together the region’s innovation leaders, entrepreneurs and angel investors for presentations by emerging businesses seeking funding. Presenting companies are seeking venture capital from several hundred thousand to $5 million each. Deadline to apply is August 15th.  For details on how to apply, go to www.greatplainscc.com.


Start-Ups Work on Biotech Drugs for Pets

Animal Health published Tue, 2014-08-05 16:39

KBA portfolio company, Aratana Therapeutics, was  highlighted in a recent New York Times story on entrepreneurs with pedigrees from companies like Genentech and Amgen who are now turning their attention to pets. They hope to develop innovative drugs for dogs and cats like those that have revolutionized the treatment of diseases like cancer and arthritis in people...

“I was really a little struck by the fact that the biotechnology industry didn’t really participate in animal health at all,” said Dr. St. Peter, who was a life sciences venture capitalist before co-founding Aratana. “There was this very large industry that was ripe for innovation.”

See the full New York Times story here:









CritiTech and European Medical Contract Manufacturing Announce Collaboration

Human Health published Tue, 2014-08-05 09:34

LAWRENCE, KS – CritiTech, Inc., a growing drug delivery and development company, announced today that it has entered into a collaboration with European Medical Contract Manufacturing (EMCM) of Nijmegen, Netherlands, to develop tissue grafts coated with a variety of drugs using CritiTech’s proprietary supercritical fluid technology. The coated tissue grafts are being developed to provide effective and long-lasting antimicrobial control and rapid healing, especially in revision surgeries, to compensate for and correct failed implants.

“By combining EMCM’s eCOO® proprietary manufacturing process with CritiTech’s active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) coating technology, CritiTech and EMCM expect to produce tissue grafts that preserve their flexibility and maintain their structural and mechanical properties,” said Gary Clapp, CritiTech’s Vice President of Technical Operations. Coating EMCM’s tissue grafts with CritiTech’s supercritical fluid technology should produce unique benefits such as: (1) enabling the use of a wide range of APIs; (2) use of pure APIs; (3) delayed release of the APIs; and (4) incorporation of biodegradable release agents.

The goal of the collaboration between CritiTech and EMCM is to develop the first commercial tissue grafts coated with API using supercritical carbon dioxide. Initial results of the joint product development effort should be available later this year.

We are very excited about this opportunity and to be working with EMCM,” said CritiTech president Matthew McClorey. “They are a competent, focused and driven product development partner.”

This is the second major announcement from CritiTech over the last five weeks. On June 30th, CritiTech announced the successful completion of a Phase I Trial for its ovarian cancer drug, Nanotax®.

For more information about CritiTech, please visit www.crititech.com