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Animal health company gains $15 million to jump-start Kansas expansion

Advanced Animal Diagnostics, based near Durham, N.C., develops technology aimed at providing more precise care of farm animals so they live healthier, more productive lives.
Advanced Animal Diagnostics, based near Durham, N.C., develops technology aimed at providing more precise care of farm animals so they live healthier, more productive lives. Bloomberg

A North Carolina company with ties to the Kansas City regional animal health corridor has obtained $15 million in new financing to jump-start expansion plans.

The Kansas Bioscience Authority and Cultivian Sandbox, a Chicago-based investment firm, were the lead investors in this latest round of financing for Advanced Animal Diagnostics. The Olathe-based bioscience authority said it invested $2 million in the venture.

Other investors were LabCorp, Middleland Capital, Intersouth Partners, Novartis Venture Funds and several individuals.

Advanced Animal Diagnostics, based near Durham, N.C., develops technology aimed at providing more precise care of farm animals so they live healthier, more productive lives.

The company launched its first commercial products in 2013, which focused on dairy cows. According to the company, large-scale tests at commercial dairies demonstrated that the technology, among other outcomes, improved producers’ financial returns by preventing milk and reproductive losses.

Advanced Animal Diagnostics has a high profile in the Kansas City animal health care industry. The firm participated in the 2009 and 2011 KC Animal Health Investment Forum, which helps fledgling animal health companies raise venture capital.

The company said it will use the latest funding to boost the development of additional livestock tests for dairy and beef markets.

Advanced Animal Diagnostics said it plans to conduct product development research with the Kansas State University veterinary lab in Manhattan. It is also working with an unidentified Lenexa company to make components for one of its products, and it plans to open a sales office in western Kansas to support current dairy products and future feedlot products.

“This funding is just one example of how relationships we formed three years ago (at the investment forum) have continued to help AAD,” Joy Parr Drach, the company’s president and chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The Kansas Bioscience Authority, which invests in agribusiness, animal health and human health, said this is its first investment in Advanced Animal Diagnostics.

“Bringing AAD to the corridor positions Kansas as a growing dairy state, as well as an innovative state that is bringing new technologies to the dairy market,” Tony Simpson, managing director of the bioscience authority, said in the statement.

The KC Animal Health Corridor is home to more than 300 animal health companies. The corridor includes Manhattan, Columbia and St. Joseph.

To reach Steve Rosen, call 816-234-4879 or send email to srosen@kcstar.com.

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