Olathe A Kansas Bioscience Authority committee on Monday gave the nod to $700,000 in funding for two animal-health companies to open operations in Kansas.
The investment committee for the state-funded KBA supported investments of $400,000 for the Australian company Parnell as well as $300,000 for another company whose identity is being kept secret for now.
Parnell, a veterinary pharmaceutical company that sells drugs for both pets and livestock in Australia, has confirmed plans to establish its North American headquarters in Kansas, said Keith Harrington, a director of commercialization for the KBA.
The company will create 14 jobs at its Kansas headquarters during the next year, at an average annual salary of about $169,000, Harrington said.
“These are high-end, smart-people jobs, which is great,” Harrington said.
The company’s drugs are still awaiting regulatory approval in the United States, Harrington said, and the KBA’s hope is that the company will grow in Kansas after the products hit the market. It could also collaborate with other companies in the area and help the entire animal-health sector grow, he said.
“It’s the usual sort of animal-health story that we see, where a company comes to Kansas, they engage with other animal-health companies and you sort of see the economy grow,” Harrington said.
The investment committee originally approved the Parnell investment in July, contingent upon the company’s commitment to build the headquarters in Kansas. At that point the company was considering whether to come to Kansas or Missouri, Harrington said, but now it has identified a Kansas location along the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, which runs from Columbia, Mo., to Manhattan, Kan.
The other investment approved by the investment committee, worth $300,000, will help a firm based elsewhere in the United States create a new research site in Kansas.
The company plans for 16 new jobs at the Kansas location with an average salary of $65,000.
It will also work with other research institutions in the state, including universities and other companies, and aim to attract additional research funding, said Tony Simpson, KBA director of commercialization for bioenergy.
The KBA is withholding the name of the company until it completes negotiations related to its location.
Both of the grants recommended by the KBA investment committee will be subject to approval by the authority’s board of directors. That board is set to meet in January, but board chairman Dan Watkins, a Lawrence attorney, said Monday he would aim to arrange a teleconference meeting at an earlier date to allow the investments to move forward.