Following on its move from London to San Diego, California, Poïesis has opened its Seed Round of financing seeking to raise $5 million to complete in-licensing and initiate clinical development of its therapeutic and diagnostic pipeline in several indications in dogs, cats and horses.

Poïesis is actively seeking investments from individuals, family offices and venture capital funds. This follows on the successful completion of our initial Friends and Family Round of financing, all of which came from California investors.

The rising interest on Wall Street in the companion animal health space is discussed in several recent publications cited in the in the News section of our website. These articles note that shares of animal health companies are outperforming the stock market as a whole, fueled by American’s love of their family pets.

In the past four years, a few companies have begun operations in the pet health biotechnology industry, a striking contrast to human health, where thousands of companies constitute a large ecosystem feeding innovative drugs into the pharmaceutical marketplace.

Characterizing the opportunity represented by the pet health industry in a recent review written for Seeking Alpha, analyst Bret Jensen refers to a statement by Richard Chin, Chief Executive Officer of Kindred Biosciences (NASDAQ: KIN), a small biopharmaceutical company focused on the animal health market: “the animal health pharmaceutical market is in the early stages of a golden period. He draws comparisons between what the human pharmaceutical industry was like 40 years ago and where the current animal health pharmaceutical industry is at. Like the human pharmaceutical industry 40 years ago, opportunity and profits are plentiful; reimbursement is simple; commercialization is affordable; and generics are obscure.”

With a projected 5-year nominal CAGR of 7%, the $8 billion U.S. pet medications sector represents a rapidly growing part of the $23 billion global market for animal medicines and vaccines. The US is the largest regional market for animal medications followed by the EU. There also exists robust demand from emerging markets, which augurs well for the future of this sector.

The companion animal health industry provides numerous market advantages over human health in that new medicines can be developed in considerably less time and in a very cost efficient manner, yielding de-risked R&D cycles. The regulatory agencies governing market authorizations for companion animal products, the U.S. FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA), have programs for Minor Use Minor Species (MUMS) which, like Orphan Drug status in human health, are designed to encourage development of drugs for smaller markets. Moreover, the FDA will grant Conditional Approval of veterinary drugs, a status which allows commercial sales of a drug in advance of its pivotal clinical trials.

In addition, the industry has limited exposure to government or third party payer risk in a market where pet owners are eager to purchase state of the art medicines for their pets.

Furthermore, veterinary products do not face the same post-patent expiration cliff of generic competition encountered by human pharmaceutical products.

All these factors should translate to highly sustainable growth for the animal health industry.

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