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K.C. Corridor continues to lure animal health companies

Thousands of jobs are tied to the KC Animal Health Corridor.

K.C. Corridor continues to lure animal health companies
KC Animal Health Corridor President Kimberly Young

The KC Animal Health Corridor is experiencing a growth spurt, with about 20 more companies putting down roots over the past three years.

Corridor President Kimberly Young reported at a news conference Aug. 25 that 52 companies overall have set up in the region since the agency was established in 2006.

Today, more than 300 animal health companies operate in an area stretching from Columbia and St. Joseph, Missouri, to Manhattan, Kansas. They employ 20,000 people and are responsible for an estimated 56 percent of global sales in the animal health, diagnostics and pet food categories.

Several dozen animal health products, from food to drugs, were displayed in the Kansas City Convention Center during the news conference.

“The products … are just a sampling of all of the products that are researched, developed, manufactured, branded, marketed or sold right here in the corridor,” Young said.

Among the corridor’s newest residents are Prommune Inc., a vaccine developer headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas, and Integrated Animal Health, a multifaceted company based in Lawrence, Kansas.

A cell therapy company, Likarda LLC, chose Kansas City, Kansas, for its home base when it was founded in 2012. The location was important, said Likarda’s vice president and co-founder, Karthik Ramachandran, Ph.D.

“The KC Animal Health Corridor has all the contract research organizations, experienced law firms, marketing firms, and the industry support and expertise that is essential for a company designing animal products,” he said.

The news conference served as the kickoff for what Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James designated KC Animal Health Corridor Week. Besides the annual CVC veterinary conference, also on tap are the Homecoming Dinner, during which Shuler Consulting Services CEO and President Rich Shuler will receive the Iron Paw Award, and the Investment Forum, which will see 18 young companies give “Shark Tank”-like presentations to potential investors.