March 13, 2014  BY Sarah Redohl

Animal Health Specialties, a local biotech startup based in the MU Life Sciences Incubator, received a $230,000 investment from Columbia-based angel investor group Centennial Investors Wednesday, March 12.

“We are pretty excited about the investment,” said Centennial Investor member Greg Wolff. “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.”

The “blockbuster drugs” Wolff mentions include one to treat cachexia, wasting of lean body mass often associated with cancer, in companion animals. The company is also developing a drug to help eliminate the need for antibiotics for production animals. According to the Food and Drug Administration, around 80 percent of the 7 million pounds of antibiotics sold in the United States are consumed by livestock and poultry.

“Treating cachexia and helping to eliminate the need for antibiotics for these animals will change domesticated animal health as we know it,” Wolff said.

Kenneth Gruber, president and CEO of Tensive Controls, Inc.—of which Animal Health Specialties is a subsidiary—said it was the resources of the University of Missouri and Centennial Investors’ assistance that have made the company’s progress possible.

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

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

“The substantial interest among Centennial Investors members was based on respect for Dr. Gruber’s credentials as a scientist as well as the opportunity for Animal Health Specialties to commercialize discoveries to improve animal health,” said Bruce Walker, chair of Centennial Investors.

Jake Halliday is the president and CEO of the Missouri Innovation Center, which runs the MU Life Sciences Incubator. In his role at the Incubator, he has assisted with the launch and growth of Animal Health Specialties.

“What I like most about Animal Health Specialties is the company’s platform technology that will generate a steady pipeline of animal health products and, from an investor standpoint, create more shots on goal.”

Advertise With Us

Recent News

Read about this month's CBT Person You Should Know, @gravitycomo's @JSesh! #como

You read about it in CBT ( now check out the Mobile Makers Space in the flesh!…

Behind the scenes at a #como #CBT shoot yesterday! Thanks @anthonyjinson for a great day in the studio!

Twitter Media

Read about @MCBallet in our October non-profit spotlight!

It's CBT crowdsourcing time: Looking for #como biz people who travel internationally for work - and often. Give us the inside scoop!

#CBT staff wants to know! What are the three words you'd use to describe Columbia Business Times?

Don't know what content marketing is? You won't be able to say that after you read our profile of @InfluenceandCo

Thanks, Matt, for participating!…

Nominate an outstanding young professional for CBT 20Under40 #20U40 #como

Just wrapped the CBT October issue. Congrats to @SarahRedohl on her final issue of CBT! It looks fantastic, can't wait for everyone to see.

Columbia Startup Weekend begins tonight, marking the 5th year of a signature event for COMO entrepreneurs.

September's Flashback is all about @mizzou's Stankowski Field. Check it out: @Mizzourec @mizzouathletics

Check out this cool new initiative from Boone County Historical Society and Commerce Bank:

Calling all #como 20 Under 40 alumni - save the date for a mixer on Sept 28 4:30-6 at Craft Beer Cellar. More info coming soon!

Check out our movers and shakers this month -- they're awesome!

Teams that play together, stay together. Find out how to guide your organization to good health with our Sept. issue:

We're kicking off our #StartupSpotlight feature with Georgie Faye's Designer Shoe Rack! Check it out:

Join us for our next Master's Series! Get details on how we can help you pump up your business skills here: