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Kansas City-Based Likarda Named Among World's Top 50 New Ventures Competing in Global Entrepreneurship Week's Startup Open

Likarda invented breakthrough diabetes treatment for pets

KANSAS CITY, Kan., Nov. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Likarda, an early-stage animal health company and a spinoff of the University of Kansas Medical Center, is one of the world's 50 most promising new companies chosen to compete in the Global Entrepreneurship Week's Startup Open this Monday. Likarda was selected for the "GEW 50" out of a field of nearly 400 applicants from 17 countries, and is the only Kansas City area company to make the list.

Likarda's primary product, 3D islet cell clusters known as Kanslets™, can be transplanted into animals to cure diabetes through a simple procedure as routine as neutering a pet. The company has successfully cured rat diabetes, and is actively conducting studies on cats and dogs. Likarda has secured a grant from a large pharmaceutical company to further its research.

"We are honored to have been selected for the 'GEW 50' as one of the world's most innovative new companies, and believe our product will revolutionize treatment for the more than 400,000 companion animals suffering from diabetes today," said Lisa Stehno-Bittel, Ph.D., President and CEO of Likarda.  "Our location in the center of the KC Animal Health Corridor has enabled us to forge connections with some of the world's largest pharmaceutical and animal health companies." 

A featured event of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Startup Open is a global competition to identify and recognize startup companies founded between late 2011 and 2012. The GEW 50 represent a range of industry sectors and were judged on concept, growth projections and knowledge of their industry.

Likarda and the other GEW 50 companies will compete for a handful of prizes with the winners announced during Global Entrepreneurship Week, November 12-18, 2012. Startup Open is supported by several organizations, including Kansas City-based Kauffman Foundation.  

Likarda is located in the Bioscience & Technology Business Center incubator at the University of Kansas Medical Center at 2002 West 39th Avenue in Kansas City, Kan. 

About Likarda

Founded in 2012, Likarda is a Contract Research Organization that streamlines the engineering of multi-cell type, uniform, organotypic 3D cell clusters for a variety of applications.  This includes drug screening and regenerative medicine.  Likarda is currently focused on three market applications: (1) secondary drug screening to test compounds targeted to diabetes markets; (2) primary compound screening with organotypic species-specific screens; and (3) transplantation to cure diabetes in companion animals without the need for long-term immunosuppression of the animal.

About the KC Animal Health Corridor

Known as the KC Animal Health Corridor, the Kansas City area accounts for 32 percent of the $19 billion global animal health industry. The Corridor, anchored by Manhattan, Kan., and Columbia, Mo., is home to more than 220 animal health companies, which represent the largest concentration in the world. For more information, visit

SOURCE KC Animal Health Corridor

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