Bio and life science discoveries are helping more than just people
Senner and his co-founder, COO and Chief Scientific Officer, Christian Beaudry, saw a need to bring regenerative medicine to the equine world. They found the opportunity to take existing technologies and successfully apply them to the emerging branch of veterinary science.
Equus is one of three Phoenix companies selected to join 27 others selected from among hundreds of startups around the world to compete in the Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s 2020 International Startup Stadium. The BIO International Startup Stadium is a “Shark Tank” of bioscience startups presenting to a global panel of judges in hopes of winning venture capital, strategic partnerships and product collaborations.
Equus Innovations, a Phoenix, Arizona, U.S. startup, has the first product of its kind on the market. RenoVō® is an acellular, liquid allograft comprised of amnion and amniotic fluid intended to cover and protect tissues. An allograft is a tissue transplant from one, in this case, horse to another horse.
We’re taking century-old human medical science, applying current bioscience techniques, and using it as a next-generation clinical option for use in horses,” said Grant Senner MD, DABRM and CEO of Equus Innovations. “We saw a critical need (in equine health care) for a highly efficacious, cost-effective, off-the-shelf product to bring truly regenerative medicine to this field.
Donor tissues harmlessly collected with owner consent during live birth do not harm the mare or foal. Amniotic birth tissues are rich sources of bioactive factors involved in tissue regeneration with reported anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and anti-fibrotic properties. RenoVō® is cryopreserved and maintained frozen before use, to preserve beneficial proteins.
“Our mission is to create and provide innovative products to maximize the health and performance of horses across all breeds and athletic disciplines,” said Senner. “We are the market leader in the development of novel, advanced allografts for veterinary use.”
RenoVō®, used in treatments for more than 2,000 horses, is enjoying rapid adoption among owners and veterinarians as the preferred alternative to other clinical options.
“Ranching and agriculture are engrained in Arizona’s economic and cultural traditions. Horses have played a key role in that history,” said Mayor Kate Gallego. “Equus Innovations shows just how much can come from looking at existing technology with fresh eyes to create new solutions.”
As with all good entrepreneurial ventures, the identification of the problem is step one. Equus Innovations saw that a highly effective and strong regenerative medicine component, and the solution for equine use, was glaringly absent from the market.
“That was the driver behind the creation of the company,” Senner said. “(Our) team has really dedicated itself and devoted the time, energy and financial resources into advancing the clinical data. We have a first-of-its-kind field study in over 200 horses, evaluating the product in soft tissue and orthopedic injuries in equine subjects.”
Senner sees the results of the clinical research, and getting that information into the marketplace, as the key for even greater adoption of RenoVō®. Equus works closely with its sister company and national distributor, Equine Amnio Solutions, located in Argyle, Texas. The company’s near-term focus includes leveraging ongoing studies with the research and development program, and to continue the dialogue for a strategic partnership with larger operators seeking innovative products for veterinary use.
Senner is a multiple-startup entrepreneur of companies in the biotechnology sector. Equus Innovations is his first foray into veterinary sciences.
“Veterinarians in this sector are just a delight to work with. They’re a different group of clinicians than my MD counterparts on the human health side,” Senner said. “I find them very scientifically driven. They have a very healthy and balanced skepticism. They’re to be admired for their dedication to the animals and putting the patient health above all else.”
Senner said that with the support from the city of Phoenix and GateWay Community College’s Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation, Equus Innovations is “an entrepreneurial success story.”
Phoenix is America’s fifth-largest city with the most population growth of any U.S. city for the last four years. The city has invested over $500 million with its partners into the downtown Phoenix Biomedical Campus. The city has also invested millions into the Arizona Health Solutions campus of Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University. Public and private bioscience and healthcare organizations are committing more than $3 billion to develop 4.6 million square feet of new facilities in the city of Phoenix. The Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler metro area is the tenth most populous in the U.S., having passed the Boston-Cambridge-Newton Massachusetts-New Hampshire metro area in 2019.
BY ERIC JAY TOLL AND ATHENA SANCHEZ FOR PHXNEWSROOM
Media Contact: Eric Jay Toll
E-mail: [email protected]