AgTech Accelerator Invests in Second Emerging Company
AgTech Accelerator™, the RTPbased venture development organization focused on emerging agricultural technology and animal health companies, today announced a $5 million Series A investment into Skyline Vet Pharma, Inc. The investors participating in Skyline’s financing include AgTech Accelerator’s investment syndicate partners.
“Following the May 2016 launch of AgTech Accelerator, we have been searching for the best opportunities in the companion animal health space,” said John W. Dombrosky, chief executive officer of AgTech Accelerator. “We are delighted to now bring AgTech Accelerator’s deep expertise and unique company-building resources to Skyline Vet Pharma, an early-stage company poised to transform the way we meet our pets’ underserved health care needs. This investment illustrates the kind of breadth, variety and scope built into AgTech Accelerator’s company development approach.”
Skyline Vet Pharma was co-founded by animal health and animal biology industry veterans Serge Martinod, D.V.M., Ph.D., as the company’s chief executive officer, and George Murphy, who serves as vice president. The company is developing products to address critical needs in the companion animal health industry as today’s pet owners expect veterinarians to provide pet health care nearly on par with human health care.
Companion animals (dogs and cats in particular) play an important part in the lives of many American families and others around the world. There are more than 150 million dogs and cats in the United States alone. As the bond between companion animals and their caregivers continues to strengthen, so does the demand for pharmaceutical products able to improve the health and well-being of pets.
Treatment compliance remains one of the major challenges in modern veterinary medicine. The best therapy is worthless if pet owners cannot or do not administer prescribed drugs to their animals. Furthermore, the consequences of poor compliance, including increased cost of treatment, recurrences and relapses of the poorly treated disease, selection for antibiotic resistance, and unnecessary pain and suffering can be devastating. Palatable products, ease of dose administration and less frequent dosing will increase pet-owner bonding, which is a major factor in the commercial success of companion animal health products.
“The companion animal health industry is seeking innovative solutions for pet owners and the animals they care for,” said Joe Cook, Jr., principal of Mountain Group Capital. “Skyline Vet Pharma’s solutions will connect key unmet animal health needs with owner treatment convenience, resulting in better compliance and pet health outcomes.”
Skyline Vet Pharma uses proven, in-licensed delivery technologies to reformulate known drugs not yet approved for use in animal health, thereby creating novel combination products for established markets. The company intends to bring several new products to the market over the next few years in three major therapeutic areas: pain/inflammation, cardiovascular disease and antimicrobials, areas that represent more than 60 percent of the prescriptions written by veterinarians.
Prior to founding Skyline Vet Pharma, Dr. Martinod and Mr. Murphy worked across a range of animal health and animal biotechnology companies, bringing to the company nearly 60 years of industry experience:
Dr. Martinod brings 30 years of experience developing products for animal health with market leaders such as Pfizer, SmithKline Beecham and Ciba Geigy. Dr. Martinod’s experience also spans startup companies including Smart Drug Systems, Arcanatura, TNG Pharmaceuticals and Jaguar Animal Health, where he served as chief veterinary officer.
Mr. Murphy was a co-founder of AviGenics and ProLinia, and served as a director of AquaBounty Technologies and Smart Drug Systems. Dr. Martinod and Mr. Murphy together helped shape and start Jaguar Animal Health, where Mr. Murphy served as senior vice president of business development.
Following the Series A financing, the company’s board of directors consists of:
Serge Martinod, D.V.M., Ph.D., co-founder and chief executive officer of Skyline Vet Pharma
George Murphy, co-founder and vice president of Skyline Vet Pharma
John Dombrosky, chief executive officer of AgTech Accelerator
Joe Cook, Jr., principal of Mountain Group Capital
David K. Rosen, D.V.M., founder and former president and chief operating officer of Aratana Therapeutics