Zomedica reels in $4M for pet drug development

Michigan-based Zomedica, a relatively new company focused on developing pet meds and complementary products, has reeled in C$5 million ($4 million) as the first part of a share placement offering.

Formed in May 2015, Zomedica is working on an antibiotic for pets, as well as a drug to treat metabolic disorders. The money represents the first tranche of what the executive team hopes will be C$15 million ($11.7 million) raised to advance its pipeline and pay for other activities such as IP protection and potential acquisitions.

Zomedica CEO Gerald Solensky Jr. told Crain’s Detroit he expects the fundraising to finish in about a month. Zomedica is listed on the Venture Exchange of the Toronto Stock Exchange and raised $7 million before going public, Crain’s reports.

In addition to developing drugs for animals, Zomedica is looking to enter the booming markets for diagnostics and devices through M&A or in-licensing, according to its website.

Zomedica is not alone in its focus on developing novel pet therapeutics as alternatives to the repurposed human drugs that are so widely used by veterinarians. And there are plenty of companies out there looking to in-license innovative products. Aratana Therapeutics ($PETX) is currently on a licensing push, and other companies such as VetDC, Kindred Biosciences ($KIN) and CanFel are working in the space, too, Crain's notes. 

Elsewhere in animal health, startups have remained active recently thanks to private funding in areas ranging from pet diagnostics to insurance. In just over a year, companies Rex, Petnostics and Figo each drummed up funding to get underway with their ideas. And in April, startup Embark started marketing its $199 DNA test for dogs.

- here’s the release
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