A Kansas City, Kan., drug start-up company is receiving a $1 million boost from the Kansas Bioscience Authority.
Aratana Therapeutics will use the money to develop drugs that will treat animals.
The KBA investment and executive committees approved the $1 million equity investment in December but wouldn’t name the company that would receive the money, only calling it Project Heartland. The agency wanted to wait because Aratana Therapeutics was still working with investors and on legal agreements.
On Thursday, Aratana Therapeutics President David Rosen said the new company will take drugs that are geared toward human diseases and in the advance stage of development and translate them to drugs that can be used in animals. Aratana Therapeutics plans to partner with other companies to save on the costs such as the manufacturing of drugs and toxicology studies.
The company will focus on major unmet medical needs for animals that has a potential market in excess of over $120 million a year.
So far the company has been able to raise $20 million in venture capital, which will be used to take the first two development programs through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval process.
Rosen said he decided to locate the company in Kansas City because of its proximity to MPM Capital, a venture capital firm that has invested in the company and recently opened an office in Kansas City. He also was attracted to the core of animal health companies in the region and the help the company would receive through the KBA.
“It’s a good place to access the kind of expertise and talent that we need in order to develop our program,” Rosen said.
The start-up company will have four employees.