Archive for Friday, January 7, 2011

KBA to invest $1 million in Aratana Therapeutics

Company developing drugs to treat animals

January 7, 2011


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.


Richard Heckler 4 years, 10 months ago

Is there a need for all of these drugs?

Or this the latest gadget to mooch from taxpayers?

Who needs more drugs for animals?

Do consumers want more drugs in their meats or eggs?

kansasredlegs 4 years, 10 months ago

WOW!!! $21M in venture capital and ONLY 4 employees. I'm getting giddy with excitement. Would be better investment to go to Riverband Casino and play 1 hand of blackjack.

btw: How much equity is that buying? I hope, but doubt, that if this Project Boondoggle hits it big, the Taxpayer gets its $1M back and then some. I'm not holding my breath as if I recall correctly, the last audit of KBA showed no return on investment of over $100M.

Flap Doodle 4 years, 10 months ago

We need more drugs to help us deal with the pollution caused by internal-combustion lawncare machines.

nobody1793 4 years, 10 months ago

Meth + push-reel mowers + out-of-work teenagers = end of all our environmental and economic problems.

George Brenner 4 years, 10 months ago

The level of discourse in posted comments to J-W articles is so low that I always wonder why I waste the time to read any of them. In this case, it's only because I have an interest in drug development and the support of start-up companies in this effort by state agencies. If the J-W had the guts to require the use of our real names in this enterprise, it's just slightly possible that a little useful discussion might result from what has generally become a bitch session for the uninformed. In the meantime, maybe another local website could find a mechanism to enable citizens to discuss current community issues in a manner that actually might enable us to learn and benefit from it. George Brenner

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