Kansas State, Elanco sign strategic alliance to improve animal health

29 September 20214 min reading

A new strategic alliance agreement between Kansas State University and Elanco Animal Health Incorporated focuses on research to improve the health of companion animals and livestock.

Kansas State University and Elanco Animal Health Incorporated are combining efforts to tackle innovation for companion animal and livestock health.

A five-year strategic alliance agreement between the university and Elanco will allow for collaborative research and intellectual property licensing for commercialization activities. Researchers will focus on activities supporting sustainable practices in livestock production and pet health; vector-borne and emerging disease prevention and treatment; and advanced understanding of the microbiome in animals. Elanco's research and development model includes attracting leading innovators as a partner of choice. They have chosen K-State as a primary key veterinary partner.

"K-State and Elanco have many areas of shared strengths and goals. The alignment is a natural fit," said Bonnie Rush, dean of the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine. "The exchange of scientific expertise between talented scientists from both entities will create a special environment for rapid advancements. The cumulative experience and balance of science and commercialization ensure technologic advancements will achieve practical application."

One of the key objectives of the partnership is to establish novel approaches to increase sustainable practices, reducing the carbon footprint of livestock production, with the ultimate goal of providing innovative solutions to veterinarians and producers to maintain healthy animals using safe and efficient solutions.

Elanco will collaborate with K-State faculty, embed scientists in K-State laboratories and utilize specialized research resources to engage in fundamental and applied collaborative research. Through the partnership, Elanco will support K-State graduate students, fellows and faculty and facilitate an exchange of expertise through researcher exchange programs.

"An alliance with Kansas State University is truly a win-win for both organizations," said Jose Simas, executive vice president of the U.S. Farm Animal business for Elanco. "It provides Elanco with an opportunity to engage with experts beyond our own walls, focusing on timely innovation and practical solutions. Meanwhile, K- State has the opportunity to utilize the commercial expertise of a leading animal health organization with nearly 70 years of industry experience."

The collaboration allows research that is at the forefront of innovation for the monitoring of new diseases to tailor research programs and provide product solutions, as well as development of innovative approaches to existing vector-borne diseases by leveraging common strengths.

"Forming this strategic alliance with Elanco enhances our ability to receive critical industry feedback earlier in the process on discoveries consistent with their external innovation targets," said Bret Ford, director of business development and licensing, animal health at K-State Innovation Partners. "In addition, the interaction will shine a spotlight on the talent and expertise of our faculty and will demonstrate how their applied research can tackle some of the biggest problems affecting the health and well-being of animals."

Elanco Animal Health Incorporated is a global leader in animal health dedicated to innovating and delivering products and services to prevent and treat disease in farm animals and pets, creating value for farmers, pet owners, veterinarians, stakeholders, and society as a whole. With nearly 70 years of animal health heritage, Elanco is committed to helping customers improve the health of animals in their care while also making a meaningful impact on local and global communities. At Elanco, the vision of Food and Companionship Enriching Life and the Elanco Healthy Purpose™ Sustainability/ESG Pledges work to advance the health of animals, people and the planet.

"As the state's land-grant university, K-State has a long history of commitment to innovations in animal health and agricultural sustainability research," said Beth Montelone, senior associate vice president for research. "This alliance with Elanco will enable K-State to continue this work and contribute important advancements to the industry."

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