A leading researcher at Kansas State University has been awarded $250,000 from the Center for Animal Health Innovation's (CAHI) Proof-of-Concept (PoC) seed funding program. Tonatiuh Melgarejo, DVM, PhD, an associate professor at Kansas State University and the principal investigator, will receive the seed funding to assist in the development of a novel class of natural antibiotics for the treatment of mastitis in dairy cattle. In addition to the financial award, Dr. Melgarejo will receive guidance from CAHI's animal health industry-led board of directors to help bring the technology to market.

The product in development is a natural antimicrobial peptide derived from water buffalo with a broad spectrum of antimicrobial activity. Water buffalo are known for their inherent resistance to infectious diseases, and the incidence of mastitis is low in this species, as their typical environment entails a heavy microbial load.

The identification of novel ways to effectively treat mastitis is essential to alleviate the financial burden of this disease in dairy cattle. The eventual product would not necessitate any milk withholding period post-treatment.

"Sourcing early-stage technologies from academic institutions is an important aspect of pipeline development for animal health companies," says Jeffrey O. Boily, president and CEO of CAHI.

CAHI's Proof-of-Concept seed funding supports academic researchers, entrepreneurs and small companies developing early-stage animal health technologies with high commercial potential.


The key goal of the program is to retire the business risk in these early-stage projects, thereby increasing their attractiveness to follow-on investment by established animal health companies and professional investors. PD

—From Center for Animal Health Innovation news release