HUNTSVILLE — Huntsville’s PDX Biotech is one of five start-up companies to win at the 2023 Purina Pet Care Innovation at the Global Pet Expo.
The local company won for its veterinary dental product OraStripdx, a 10-second screening test for early detection of periodontal disease in dogs and cats.
“I am like the proverbial dog who had caught the car,” said Dr. David McClure, biochemist and entrepreneur who founded PDX Biotech. “I relied heavily on my Vancouver colleague, Dr. Tony Burgess-Cassler, who is also a biochemist, to come up with innovations to the legacy product – called OraStrip – that could help me attain the success it deserved and that could most benefit dogs and cats, their people and veterinary teams.
“As we improved the product into what is now called OraStripdx, Tony’s ingenuity and persistence made the product easier to use.”
The 2023 class of Pet Care Innovation Prize winners represents what’s new and what’s next in the $123 billion pet care industry, according to the American Pet Products Association.
The final five were selected from nearly 140 companies from across the United States and Canada.
PDX Biotech and four other companies won $25,000 cash and participation in a boot camp accelerator experience with business experts, industry leaders, veterinarians, and Purina executives.
“Most importantly, we committed to producing and selling the product at a far more attractive price-point than the predecessor test and we believe this suite of improvements helped get Purina’s attention and has certainly helped us find customers,” McClure said. “I think Purina’s interest is that pet-parents are concerned about the connection between oral health and the overall wellness of their dogs and cats, and we provide a way to help monitor what is going on beneath the gums, which has a very profound effect on the rest of the body.”
PDX Biotech and the other companies pitched their businesses to pet industry influencers, including Purina’s 9 Square Ventures division, during the Global Pet Expo last weekend at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando
The Global Pet Expo is the pet care industry’s largest trade show and attracts pet focused entrepreneurs and businesses from around the world.
“We look forward to seeing the success of … the entire 2023 class,” said Bill Broun, co-lead of Purina’s 9 Square Ventures division, and vice president of Personalization and Business Development at Purina. “We are very thankful to be a part of their journey.
“By offering programs like the Pet Care Innovation Prize, we get the opportunity to work with forward thinking startups who are doing great work to advance the pet care industry.
“It’s an honor to support their growth and work together to shape the future of pet care.”
The Pet Care Innovation Prize was created to support and connect with early-stage pet care startups that are currently in market with an innovative business addressing pet and pet owner needs in the areas of pet health and wellness, services, technology, and food, treats or litter.