AMES, Iowa, March 1, 2021 – Ag Startup Engine (ASE), at the Iowa State University (ISU) Research Park, announced an initial $50,000 investment in Ames, Iowa-based startup Mazen Animal Health, with a goal to revolutionize animal disease prevention with orally-delivered vaccines. Mazen’s vaccine production platform enables vaccines to be produced in corn grain which after processing can be dosed with feed for production animals or as a treat for companion animals.
Dr. Jenny Filbey, the startup’s founder and CEO, said of the investment, “Joel Harris and Ag Startup Engine have provided tremendous support to Mazen in growing our network in the Iowa community and beyond. I am thrilled to be a part of such an innovative community making a difference in agriculture.”
ASE is excited to welcome the startup into its portfolio. “I’ve been following Dr. Fibley and Mazen for the last five years,” said Joel Harris, ASE Executive Director. “I’m excited to directly support Mazen’s effort by bringing its innovative work into the Iowa startup community.”
“Iowa is a great place to support the Mazen team as they bring to market new technologies that will help advance animal production and provide new opportunities for the health of companion animals,” said Janet Sichterman, Executive Vice President of Enterprise Innovation for Kent Corporation. “A proud member of ASE, Kent Corporation is pleased to be part of this win-win investment in Mazen Animal Health.”
Ag Startup Engine was launched four years ago to help address two fundamental gaps that prevent agricultural startups and entrepreneurs from being more successful: early seed-stage investment and organized mentorship from successful entrepreneurs. The program recently announced closing of their second fund with the goal to accept and invest in 45 agriculture and animal health startups in the next five years.
About Mazen Animal Health, Inc.
Mazen is developing orally-delivered animal vaccines that revolutionize animal disease prevention. Mazen provides elegant solutions to the challenges associated with injectable vaccines and offers customers (1) increased production system ROI – improving the economic & labor thresholds that control the vaccination decision today; (2) a safer method of vaccine administration for both animals and workers; (3) optimized vaccine efficacy allowing for reduced antibiotic use; and (4) vaccines with a global reach because of ambient temperature stability and ease of delivery. Mazen’s lead candidate is an oral vaccine for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus, PEDV, which causes high mortality in young pigs, even approaching 100% in some herds, which results in significant loses in farrowing barns. Mazen is currently completing a lactogenic immunity study and will be planning for registration studies later this year.