Cutting Edge Innovation in Animal Health: New Paths, New Jobs
A new animal health industry
For years, scientists have used animal models to advance healthcare for humans: Pigs as models for heart valve surgery, or dogs, rats, and rabbits for safety testing. But the species on which these new products were tested rarely reaped the benefit; the markets were too small.
That's all changed. Pet owners are now demanding cancer treatments, limb replacements, and advanced therapeutics for veterinary patients. Farmers are managing their environmental footprint and the health of each animal. These changes are opening new space for innovation in the animal health industry, and companies of all sizes are jumping in, creating new job opportunities in animal health.
Crystal ball: The future of animal health
At the 2022 Animal Health Corridor Summit, 60% of 32 emerging companies making presentations were focused on livestock; 85% of the companies were diagnostic or technology related. An emerging diagnostic company, Vidium Animal Health, was voted the winner.
Every year, our colleagues at Brakke Consulting assess the newest trends in the animal health industry and predict which innovations are likely to succeed. Their predictions also indicate where the newest animal health jobs will be.
What does the future hold? Here are three of this year’s predictions.1
Monoclonal antibodies are coming to veterinary medicine, with Zoetis gaining approval for Cytopoint® for atopic dermatitis in 2021 and Solensia™ for osteoarthritis in 2022, and Librela® (bedinvetmab) coming to the US soon. Infrequent dosing, better expected safety and efficacy profiles than existing products, and administration by injection make these potentially life-changing medications attractive to veterinarians and pet owners.
Companies who want to lead in this area are already looking for experts in immunology, drug development, and technical services.
Gene therapy, which replaces a bad gene or adds a new one to treat or cure a medical condition, is an exploding area of human medicine. The US FDA has already approved several gene therapy products for people.
The science behind animal genes and human genes is the same, and at least two companies. Rejuvenate Bio and Scout Bio, are already working on therapies for kidney failure and diabetes in cats and congestive heart failure in dogs.
Companies will need experts in all aspects of gene therapy development and manufacturing, regulatory affairs, technical services and marketing to get these to the market.
Technology companies like Herdlync are helping farmers manage their animals, while pet owners can use apps like VitusVet to access their pets medical records. Genetic testing helps farmers improve their breeding stock and explains some pet health risks to owners.
Technology for traceability of individual animals shows consumers exactly where their food comes from and is part of USDA’s plan to improve food safety. Merck Animal Health jumped into this with all four feet when they acquired Antelliq in a multi-billion dollar deal that brought them expertise in digital animal identification, traceability and monitoring.
Apps, technology, the drive for efficiency and environmental protection in farming, and the ever-closer relationships between people and their pets mean the animal health business needs new skills like coding and IT infrastructure support joined with the love of animals that is the foundation of the industry’s culture.
Jobs in animal health: Where does the future lead?
Companies on the cutting edge of these new developments need top talent to reach their goals. From creating, testing, and producing new products to marketing them and supporting them on the market, the animal health industry needs people with all kinds of outlooks and skills.
Animal Health Jobs can help you find your next great hire or your perfect job. Register your company and post your job openings to find the experienced candidates who know animal health and animal nutrition. Or post your own resume and connect with new and emerging companies looking for someone just like you.
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- Brakke Consulting: 2022 Animal Health Industry Overview. Presented at VMX Orlando, January 17, 2022. Available by request at https://brakkeconsulting.com/our-services/information/industry-overview/