We improve animal health by applying innovative, high-tech sensor science to targeted disease states.


AniV8TM (pronounced An-i-vate) is a company designed to become the leading developer of clinical sensor technology recommended by veterinarians to diagnose and monitor common animal disease states.

AniV8TM has been formed to commercialise its first product, a novel approach to measuring the impact of osteoarthritis (OA) pain in companion animals. It will offer the first wearable health monitor for dogs and cats to diagnose and monitor OA-pain – agnostic to age, breed and lifestyle – using proprietary algorithms to measure the quality of movement.


Diagnosing OA-pain is difficult
Monitoring treatment efficacy is challenging
Recent solutions have missed the mark
AniV8TM is based on sound science
Our solution is unique and unparalelled

Diagnosing OA-pain is difficult

Osteoarthritis (OA) impacts roughly 35% of all companion animals. However, <50% of dogs and <5% of cats with OA are diagnosed. In fact, most dogs are diagnosed 7-12 years AFTER OA-pain has started.

Early detection does not occur because today’s standard diagnostic approaches all have challenges. Pet owner observations are highly subjective, veterinary physical exams require time and money, and x-rays do not diagnose OA-pain.

Press Release: October 4, 2021


AniV8, a leading developer of clinical sensor technology to diagnose and monitor diseases affecting companion animals, today announced the completion of its pre-seed funding round, which closed significantly above its original target. The funds raised will enable AniV8 to conduct larger clinical studies using its unique technology and accelerate product development and commercialization.

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Press Release: July 15, 2021


AniV8, a leading developer of clinical sensor technology to diagnose and monitor diseases affecting companion animals, today announced that Dr. Ellie Virtue has been appointed Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect. Dr. Virtue has extensive scientific and commercial experience in the field of animal health, including the development of human and animal health pain therapeutics.

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Press Release: June 24, 2020


AniV8, Inc. is collaborating with Elanco Animal Health to evaluate AniV8’s wearable technology in research settings. AniV8’s collar-mounted device is based on high quality science, using patented proprietary algorithms and cloud-based data analytics to measure the quality – rather than quantity – of movement. It is the first wearable health monitor to diagnose and monitor osteoarthritis pain in dogs and cats in this way. AniV8’s monitor is expected to provide study clinicians at North Carolina State University – a leading center of pain research in companion animals – with a validated, reliable and objective measurement of pain that will be extensively evaluated in dogs with osteoarthritis.

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AniV8 is a collaboration between three founding partners:

all leaders in their respective fields.

The Team

Dr. B Duncan X Lascelles

Director & Chief Scientific Advisor

Dr. Lascelles has 25 years’ experience of clinical veterinary medicine and clinical research focused on ‘algometry’ – the measurement of pain. He pioneered the validation of accelerometers as measures of movement in companion animals, and has performed clinical research using accelerometers over the last 12 years, including developing methodology to analyze the high frequency longitudinal data.

After graduating from the veterinary program at the University of Bristol, U.K., with honors, in 1991 Dr. Lascelles completed a PhD in aspects of pre-emptive/perioperative analgesia at the University of Bristol. After an internship there, he completed his surgical residency at the University of Cambridge, U.K. He moved to Colorado for the Fellowship in Oncological Surgery at Colorado State University, then a period of post-doctoral research in feline pain and analgesia at the University of Florida, and is currently Professor in Small Animal Surgery and Pain Management at North Carolina State University. He is board-certified in small animal surgery by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, the European College of Veterinary Surgeons, and the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.

He is director of the Comparative Pain Research and Education Centre (CPREC). His research program (Translational Research in Pain [TRiP]) is dedicated to answering critical questions about pain control and pain mechanisms through high quality, innovative research. His career has been focused on developing algometry methods (methods to measure pain) in spontaneous disease animal models (pets with naturally occurring disease), and probing tissues from well-phenotyped animals with spontaneous disease to understand the neurobiology, with a strong translational focus. The aim of his research is to improve pain control in companion animals, and facilitate analgesic development in human medicine. He has authored over 180 peer reviewed research papers and reviews, over 240 research abstracts, as well as over 30 book chapters.

Dr. Mark Heffernan


Mark Heffernan has had a career spanning nearly two decades as Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer in private and public companies. From 2011 to 2017, he served as Chief Executive Officer and as a member of the board of directors at Nexvet Biopharma, a NASDAQ-listed animal health monoclonal antibody developer, which was sold to Zoetis in July 2017. Dr. Heffernan is also a member of the board of directors at Stonehaven Incubate, a Switzerland-based incubator of translational opportunities to bring promising human technologies into animal health
applications. Mark was also formerly the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Opsona Therapeutics, a Dublin, Ireland-based developer of monoclonal antibodies for human therapeutic applications.

Mark’s career experience spans both human biotechnology start-ups and animal health R&D companies. He has raised over USD 150,000,000 in private and public capital raisings and built successful global teams to execute drug discovery and development.

Mark received his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from Monash University in 2000.

Will Strange


William Strange is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Sports Performance Tracking (SPT). Since launching the business in 2015, SPT has attracted over 45,000 customers using its ground-breaking performance tracking technology and cloud analytics software in over 100 countries.

SPT has won a number of awards including being named in the top 50 Sports Start-ups Globally in 2019 and named in the Deloitte fast 100 in Australia (2019). Leading the expansion of the company into the USA in 2019 – Will was awarded Melbourne’s young achiever award and recently recognized in the top 100 entrepreneurs in Australia.

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