Each year in Kansas City, Missouri—in the land of food animal science and, thus, a big segment of the animal health industry—startup CEOs and entrepreneurs hungry for investment dollars show up to pitch a panel of judges and company representatives in attendance. In addition to whatever deals start at the forum, Kansas City Animal Health Corridor organizers also give a $10,000 Innovation Award to the big winner.
Many of these companies don’t have products relevant to the small animal practitioner, but there are always gems that catch the eye of the dvm360 team in attendance.
That’s fear of needles, and CEO Yotam Kaufman pitched the audience on an alternative to traditional needles for subcutaneous fluid treatment in pet owners’ homes.
“No one likes needles, that’s obvious, but sometimes people need to inject their pets alone on a regular basis,” Kaufman says. And why shouldn’t veterinary medicine get fancy devices like those for human patients with diabetes for regular insulin shots?
“Humans have had automatic needles for ages now,” he says.
The EZXS device (pictured on the company’s website) replaces a hand-driven needle with a clip for a scruff that’s attached to a cartridge system that pet owners (or veterinary team members) turn to insert, then turn back to remove and empty. Attached to the device could be fluids today, and perhaps injectable drugs or vaccines in the future.
When needled by the panelist judges about what veterinarians thought about the device, Kaufman explained they’ve spoken to more than 100 and “they all like it, because they know the pain associated with doing this at home.”
A kit for a pet with chronic kidney disease would retail for $75 for 30 uses, with an occasional-use kit with four uses for $25. The prototype is being tested with cats now in veterinary hospitals and is not yet available for purchase.