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 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
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.
Dr. B Duncan X Lascelles
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.
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.
Damian broadens the board skillset with his global outlook, networks and his strong commercial acumen. Damian has held a number of directorships and has extensive commercial, international and listed company experience (both ASX and NASDAQ), covering many industries including healthcare and technology. In his executive career, he held CEO, CFO and Company Secretarial roles and continues to act as an advisor to CEOs, boards and business owners.
With a background in M&A, licensing and business financing, Damian has a track record in helping businesses grow. He is currently CFO of ScoutBio Inc, a venture capital backed company developing gene therapy medication for companion animals. Previously he was CFO at Nexvet Biopharma plc, which attracted significant US institutional backing and listed on NASDAQ in 2015. The business evolved to have research capabilities in Australia, clinical operations in USA and manufacturing operations in Ireland. In 2017, following the successful completion of clinical trials for its lead program the business was acquired by Zoetis Inc. Damian was also CFO at Biota and was instrumental in securing and managing major licences with global pharmaceutical companies and securing a major US grant that allowed the business to transition from the ASX to NASDAQ. In addition, Damian was involved in a CRC for Microtechnology project, introducing wearable micro-devices to Australian athletes in the preparation for the Sydney Olympics.
Charlie Dawson has over 20 years of experience in strategy, marketing and leadership in the life sciences sector. Charlie is currently a Venture Partner at Stonehaven Incubate, where he identifies and develops innovative human health technologies that have potential for the animal health market.
Prior to joining Stonehaven Incubate, Charlie founded GRO Strategies and worked as a Senior Advisor at Stonehaven Consulting, a leading consultancy for the animal health industry. Between 2001 and 2017 Charlie held senior roles at Novartis Animal Health, Novartis Consumer Health and GSK Consumer Health. During this time, he led several transformational restructurings that generated savings of up to US$50 million in capital. Charlie holds an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley and a BS from Cornell University.
Dr. Ellie Virtue
A scientific and commercial professional with experience in building animal health companies from conception through to clinical, product development and commercialization phases.
Dr. Virtue has nearly 15 years’ experience in animal health, which includes monoclonal antibody company, Nexvet Biopharma, where she worked from 2011 until 2017. As the business grew from small start-up to NASDAQ-listed global company, Dr. Virtue’s roles and capabilities evolved across R&D, operations, alliance management and business development. Dr. Virtue has experience in consulting and providing business services to early-stage human and veterinary companies, covering functions such as operations, commercialisation and project management.
Dr. Virtue holds a Master of Applied Finance from Macquarie University and a PhD from the University of Melbourne for which she studied zoonotic BSL-4 viruses at the Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Australia’s premier high-containment research facility.
Dr. Virtue is currently a Venture Partner at Stonehaven Incubate, one of AniV8TM’s founding partner organisations, where she identifies and develops innovative human health technologies that have potential for the animal health market. In her capacity at Stonehaven Incubate, Dr. Virtue is Project Lead for a number of start-up companies, including AniV8TM, and most recently was CEO of Texas-based microbiome company, Anizome.
Engineering & Data Science
Danielle is a software and systems engineer with a background in high performance data processing and analytics. She brings 15 years of experience and has worked on projects for major technology brands including Nokia, Samsung and Intel. She currently leads the software and hardware engineering teams at Sports Performance Tracking to develop and bring to market SPT’s products and platforms.
Danielle holds degrees in electronic engineering and computer science from the University of Western Australia. Her research topic was identification of musical instruments from a single-source recordings via machine learning. Danielle excels in the communication of technical concepts and was a contributing author to the book, The Architecture of Open Source Applications.
Danielle’s unique mixture of skills give AniV8TM the capability to prototype its cutting-edge detection algorithms and lead development of its future products.