Ken Niedziela is the editor of Today’s Veterinary Business. He is a longtime journalist and editor who started his professional career at The Blade newspaper in Toledo, Ohio, before he moved to Southern California for an array of assignments at The Orange County Register. He entered magazine journalism in 2008 with Veterinary Practice News and Pet Product News International. He joined the North American Veterinary Community in January 2017 to help launch Today’s Veterinary Business. The Rochester, New York, native earned his journalism degree from Michigan State University.Read Articles Written by Ken Niedziela
Each August, I look forward to visiting Kansas City, Missouri, for the Animal Health Summit, a gathering of industry leaders, innovators and investors who spend two days listening to where the animal health sector has been and where it’s headed. What I especially enjoy are the Emerging Companies presentations, which bring business executives onstage one at a time to pitch their products (some ready for market and some not) to a panel of judges. It’s during that portion of the conference where I learn what veterinary professionals and, in some cases, pet owners could have at their disposal soon.
Among the 13 presenting companies this year were:
- AGL Technology, whose co-founder, Marcel Sarzen, promoted a real-time food animal monitoring platform.
- Full Life Wellness, whose co-founder, Scott Eller, sees a profitable future in subscription-based home-cooked meals requiring a proprietary kitchen appliance and freeze-dried and dehydrated ingredients.
- Xeptive Therapeutics, whose CEO, Josefina Correa, traveled from Uruguay to talk about an immunotherapy pipeline targeting chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis and atopic dermatitis.
Emerging with the Innovation Award was Akston Biosciences Corp., the Massachusetts developer of monoclonal antibodies that could be used, for example, to produce once-a-week insulin injections for diabetic cats and dogs. Akston recently announced it was leaving the human medicine arena (spinning off two subsidiaries in the process) to focus on animal health.
“We have five platform products, and those are covered by 26 issued patents with worldwide coverage,” co-founder Dr. Todd Zion told the audience.
“We’re here looking for potential investors and partners to help develop those insulin products, the commercial manufacturing and also our next-generation products.”
Given the expertise of the hundreds of attendees, Akston, AGL, Full Life Wellness and Xeptive should hear from some of them soon.