Aratana Therapeutics Acquires Belgian Company

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
Okapi is developing treatment for ocular disease in cats, among other products. | Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

In a deal worth more than $45 million, Kansas City-based pet medication company Aratana Therapeutics Inc. acquired Okapi Sciences NV, a Belgian company that develops pet antiviral treatments.

Aratana said in a release that the acquisition brings the company “a unique combination of individuals, strong relationships with academic institutions, novel technologies and products, and favorable geographic location.”

Currently, Okapi Sciences NV is working on a treatment of ocular disease in cats caused by the feline herpes virus. The company is also developing a product to treat feline immunodeficiency virus, as well as additional antiviral and oncology products for both cats and dogs.

The co-founder and former CEO of Okapi, Erwin Blomsma, has become the vice president of Aratana and will be the general manager of Okapi Sciences.

“We are excited to complete this strategic acquisition, which significantly expands our European presence and broadens and diversifies our portfolio,” Dr. Steven St. Peter, Aratana’s CEO, said in a release.  “We will continue to nurture the relationships Okapi has forged with leading universities in Europe such as KU Leuven.  This transaction reiterates Aratana’s commitment to advancing innovative molecules and bringing them to market to improve the lives of pets.”

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