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Local Investor Group Helps Biotech Startup
Animal Health Specialties

Columbia-based angel investor group Centennial Investors recently announced a $230,000 investment into local biotech startup, Animal Health Specialties, based at the MU Life Sciences Incubator at Monsanto Place. The company is developing a platform drug to treat cachexia, which is the wasting of lean body mass often associated with cancer, in companion animals, as well as a drug to help eliminate the need for antibiotics for production animals.

Dr. Kenneth Gruber is the president and CEO of Tensive Controls Inc. and a faculty member at the University of Missouri. He founded Animal Health Specialties as a subsidiary of Tensive Controls Inc.

“Leveraging the resources of the University of Missouri has made a big difference in our ability to move forward,” Gruber said. “Combined with Centennial’s assistance, we hope to make a difference in the way infectious diseases are treated.”

Dr. Carolyn Henry, who works with Gruber at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery, commented, “Dr. Gruber’s work and the effort to commercialize it represent a wonderful alliance with the University of Missouri. I really do believe we will do great things together.”

Centennial Investor member Greg Wolff is investment team leader, working as part of a group of approximately 30 private investors who are investing the $230,000 into Animal Health Specialties.

“We are pretty excited about the investment,” Wolff said, “Animal Health Specialties is working on what could be blockbuster drugs that will change everything for pet owners, farmers and others who need production animals; treating cachexia and helping to eliminate the need for antibiotics for these animals will change domesticated animal health as we know it.”

Centennial Investors reviews a wide range of deals each year, and members invest in a select few that they think will be great successes.

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Last Update: February 29, 2012