The partnership between Netherlands-based Orthros Medical and Animalcare Group is set to benefit from an injection of funding from the Eurostars programme that will accelerate the early-stage development of new veterinary treatments and potentially identify further drug candidates.

Signed a year ago, the global exclusive licence and R&D collaboration agreement gives Animalcare access to Orthros Medical’s leading-edge technology which utilises the therapeutic characteristics of VHH antibody fragments derived from llamas. The licensing component of the agreement concentrates initially on two potential products to treat osteoarthritis-related pain in dogs.

Under the umbrella of the pan-European Eureka initiative, Eurostars is the largest international funding programme for small to medium enterprises wishing to collaborate on R&D projects that create innovative products, processes or services for commercialisation. Co-funded by the European Union, Eurostars makes grants of up to €500,000 with each application subject to independent assessment by a panel of experts. Fewer than one in three submissions are approved.

Robert Jan Lamers, CEO of Orthros Medical said: “The Eurostars funding will help accelerate our ongoing research efforts in canine osteoarthritis and potentially identify further candidates that go beyond pain.”

Jenny Winter, CEO of Animalcare Group said: “We view our collaboration with Orthros as a template for R&D partnerships and we are delighted this has been recognised with the approval of the Eurostar award.”