Local life science start-up raises $750,000 investment to help the team of experts continue to develop a revolutionary class of herpesvirus vaccines.
Thyreos, a vaccine company that is developing a novel vaccine platform that protects against a range of herpesviruses, has announced a $750,000 investment round led by Invest Nebraska with participation from other local angel investors in the animal health and veterinary space.
“The rapid completion of our seed round allowed Thyreos to quickly advance the development of our first vaccine targets. That would not have been possible without the commitment of Invest Nebraska and our strategic investors”, said Thyreos CEO, Eric Zeece.
The Thyreos team includes Co-founders Gary Pickard, Ph.D. Professor in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Ekaterina Heldwein, Ph.D. Professor in the Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology at Tufts University, Gregory Smith, Ph.D. Professor in the department of Microbiology-Immunology at Northwestern University, and CEO Eric Zeece. The Thyreos R2 platform is a major breakthrough that allows for production of effective vaccines against many herpesviruses that infect a range of animals from livestock and companion animals to ourselves. The company’s roadmap includes the human-health market, but initial commercial opportunities are focused on the animal health space.
The commercialization of the Thyreos vaccine technology platform will significantly improve the beef industry’s ability to protect against Infectious Bovine Rhinotracheitis (IBR), which is an economically significant respiratory disease caused by a herpesvirus. IBR has negative impacts beyond respiratory issues. It can also decrease milk production and fertility, and often leads to secondary bacterial infections, which is why an effective vaccine against bovine herpesvirus would be such an important breakthrough.
Thyreos has joined The Combine, an agriculture technology incubator located on Nebraska Innovation Campus, a program run by Invest Nebraska in collaboration with the Nebraska Department of Economic Development. Current incubator companies also in the cattle industry include Corral Technologies, FarmAfield, and Platform Cattle.
“We are pleased to be a part of the Combine. In addition to offering proximity to other emerging agri-food technologies and companies, the program provides us with unique resources and contacts that have helped Thyreos to validate market assumptions and advance product development efforts”, said Thyreos Co-Founder Gary Pickard.
“Nebraska is the leader in not only beef production but also the technology and innovation that will define the next generation of cattle operations around the world. We are excited to play a small part in Thyreos”, said Invest Nebraska CEO Dan Hoffman.
Download the Press Release
Thyreos develops herpesvirus vaccines and vaccine vectors for the animal health and human health markets. Thyreos vaccines are based on the R2 recombinant herpesvirus platform that elicits robust immune responses and protects animals from life-long infections.
Eric Zeece, CEO
About Invest Nebraska
Invest Nebraska is a private, non-profit statewide venture development organization focused on high-growth companies in Nebraska and growing the state’s entrepreneurial economy. Invest Nebraska works directly with entrepreneurs, researchers, and companies to help commercialize their technologies, launch and grow new businesses, and access needed capital. Invest Nebraska’s Combine Incubator is a statewide initiative focused on supporting high-growth agri-food entrepreneurs through mentoring, commercialization support, physical incubation space on Nebraska's Innovation Campus, and a network of supporting farmers and ranchers across the state.