New Animal-Health Venture Launches



Animal-health products company TechAccel, which launched in Kansas in 2015, has announced that it will join forces with Reliance Animal Health Partners to form Covenant Animal Health Partners, a company that will focus exclusively on bringing animal health innovations to market.

In an announcement timed with this week’s animal-health conference in Kansas City, the principals said Covenant would develop revenue-ready animal-health products for both production and companion animals. The move reinforces the Kansas City region’s unique role as a global center of research, development and commercialization of products in that sector.

 “This new enterprise assembles an all-star team of industry leaders with first-hand know-how in product development,” said Michael Helmstetter, president and CEO of TechAccel. “Covenant will identify and advance new technologies to market, as well as operate external innovation programs for the global animal health industry.”

Thomas Overbay of Reliance said the ongoing consolidation in the $26 billion animal health industry creates significant opportunity for Covenant. Overbay is founder of Expedite Animal Health, a business development and technical consultancy to the international animal health industry.

“Research and development budgets are tightening up across animal health firms,” Helmstetter said. “As a result, they will primarily fund projects with the largest revenue potential and lowest risk. We see a significant opportunity to develop products that address real market needs, but do not clear the internal development hurdles of large animal health companies. Covenant will quickly and cost effectively advance these assets and then match them with leading animal health manufacturers and distributors.”

Covenant does not plan to market and distribute its own products to compete with animal health firms. Rather, the company will generate income through asset sales or licensing deals.

“We are delighted to welcome these long-time industry leaders, now aligned as Covenant, to the Animal Health Corridor,” said Kimberly Young, President of the KC Animal Health Corridor. “Covenant’s unique business model will leverage – and contribute to – the collaboration and innovation that the Corridor delivers.”

TechAccel, founded in 2015, has behind it some of the region’s leading names in business. Its founding board of directors includcd former JE Dunn CEO Terry Dunn, Mariner Wealth Advisors CEO Marty Bicknell, former Sprint CEO and MU system President Gary Forsee, former Burns & McDonnell CEO Greg Graves,  Cerner co-founder Cliff Illig, and luminaries like Roshann Parris of Parris Communications; Paul DeBruce, now with the DeBruce Foundation, John Sherman of MLP Holdings and former K-State President Kirk Schulz.