Aratana Enters Animal Health Industry With $20 Million In Funding

Posted: January 7, 2011, 5:30 p.m., EDT



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Aratana Therapeutics of Kansas City, Kan., reported today that it has received $20 million in Series A financing, led by MPM Capital and Avalon Ventures.

The newly-formed company will focus on developing pharmaceutical therapies for the animal health industry.

“At Aratana, we will be focused on taking advancements from the human biopharmaceutical industry and applying them in new ways to treat and care for animals,” said David Rosen, DVM, president and founder of Aratana Therapeutics.

Specifically, Aratana will fund, develop and manage the clinical trials and development activities necessary to achieve regulatory approval, according to the Kansas Bioscience Authority, which awarded $1 million to the start-up company. The goal is to partner these products to animal health companies “that have a meaningful presence in the relevant sector of the animal health market.”

Aratana will welcome Linda Rhodes, VMD, Ph.D., as CEO in February. Previously, Dr. Rhodes was founder and vice president of clinical development at AlcheraBio, an entrepreneurial contract research organization focused on helping major animal health companies develop new drugs.

“My entire career has been devoted to developing therapies for animals, and I am looking forward to continuing that work in this exciting, venture-capital model at Aratana,” she said.

Aratana’s board of directors will include Rhodes; Steven St. Peter, MD, managing director at MPM Capital; Jay Lichter, managing director at Avalon Ventures; and Ron Meeusen, founder of Cultivian Ventures.

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