TARGAN Secures $35M Series C Financing Led by Mountain Group Partners and NovaQuest Capital Management to Commercialize Novel Vaccine Delivery System for Poultry Industry
Merck Animal Health and Oval Park Capital continue strong support as valued investors
MORRISVILLE, N.C., May 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — TARGAN (formerly Applied LifeSciences & Systems (ALSS)) announced today it has secured $35 million of Series C equity financing. The financing was co-led by Mountain Group Partners and NovaQuest Capital Management. Existing investors Merck Animal Health and Oval Park Capital also participated in the round. TARGAN integrates its proprietary technologies consisting of high-speed imaging, feature recognition, artificial intelligence, robotics, and microfluidics in a system currently developed for the commercial poultry industry. This system can individually and accurately vaccinate up to 100,000 chicks per hour against diseases such as coccidiosis, infectious bronchitis, and Newcastle disease. In addition, TARGAN has developed a unique and fully automated system that can determine the gender of individual chicks to allow separate sex rearing by poultry producers.
The Series C investment will allow TARGAN to accelerate the commercialization of its automated and individualized poultry vaccination and gender identification systems.
“From its conception, TARGAN’s purpose has been to address the growing global demand for a healthier, more sustainable food supply through the development and application of novel technologies,” said Ramin Karimpour, founder and CEO of TARGAN. “We are most delighted that our great progress has led to NovaQuest joining our existing investors in this series. With this round, we will launch our targeted, individual vaccination and gender sorting technologies for poultry. Precise bird vaccination enables poultry producers to protect each bird from harmful diseases and significantly reduces the reliance on chemicals, therapeutics, and antibiotics. Additionally, automated gender identification will allow for separate sex rearing that reduces feed cost and waste while optimizing bird nutrition.”
“Merck Animal Health has supported TARGAN from the beginning of their journey. It is rewarding to see the team continue to grow and develop their groundbreaking technology for poultry customers around the world. We are pleased to continue to support the ongoing journey and partnership,” said Stephen Murray, Lead, Merck Animal Health Ventures.
“We are very excited to continue to support TARGAN on its journey to help poultry producers be more efficient. The pandemic has only further highlighted the need to create technologies that reduce labor and improve bird health. TARGAN does this through a very innovative technology. Also, we are very happy to include NovaQuest in the investor syndicate. Their extensive experience in biotech investing will be very helpful as TARGAN progresses into full commercialization,” said Rob Readnour, Managing Director at Mountain Group Partners.
“We are thrilled to co-lead the Series C round with an outstanding syndicate of investors. TARGAN’s impressive technology and team are well-positioned to bring significant innovation to the hatchery, where poultry production starts,” said Brian Axe, Managing Director at NovaQuest Capital Management.
“We are pleased to continue supporting the TARGAN team as they accelerate commercialization in the global poultry industry and explore new applications of their precision animal health technology platform,” said Justin Wright-Eakes, Managing Partner at Oval Park Capital.
Wyrick Robbins Yates & Ponton LLP acted as legal counsel to NovaQuest. Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC acted as legal counsel to Mountain Group.
Based in Morrisville, NC, TARGAN is a Biotechnology Systems company poised to transform animal protein production industries worldwide by bringing affordable, individualized care technologies to the market. World meat consumption is expected to double by 2050. The world’s growing population along with the popularity of animal protein is responsible for the growth in meat consumption. The industry trend towards antibiotic-free production has led to producers’ demand for novel solutions to improve health standards and vaccination procedures allowing for a similar level of productivity in the absence of antibiotics and other chemicals. TARGAN is bringing advanced technology solutions to the Poultry, Aquaculture, and Swine industries to address this demand. For more information, visit TARGAN.com
About the Investors
NovaQuest Capital Management
NovaQuest Capital Management, located in North Carolina’s Research Triangle, is a life science investment firm with a specialization in biopharmaceuticals. Founded in 2010, and with more than $2.5 billion raised across four funds, NovaQuest provides tailored capital solutions that fund innovation in biopharmaceutical development and invests in compelling healthcare companies with products and technologies aimed at helping humans and animals live healthier, longer, more productive lives. Learn more at https://www.novaquest.com/.
Mountain Group Partners
Mountain Group Partners (“MGP”) is an investor dedicated to investing in and actively guiding transformational businesses in the Life Sciences, Animal Health, and Technology sectors. Founded in 2002, MGP has invested in more than 50 companies in these sectors. MGP invests in seed- and early-stage companies. Within Life Sciences, the firm focuses on MedTech, Diagnostics, and Opportunistic Drug Development. MGP places a premium on those innovations that have existing intellectual property or a novel scientific foundation for building intellectual property. Animal Health investments focus on disruptive technologies that have a meaningful impact on global animal health and animal agriculture. Technology investments focus on business and healthcare technology, targeting those ideas with quantifiable development risk and a rapid path to market. For more information, visit www.mtngp.com.
About Merck Animal Health
At Merck, known as MSD outside of the United States and Canada, we are unified around our purpose: We use the power of leading-edge science to save and improve lives around the world. For more than a century, we’ve been at the forefront of research, bringing forward medicines, vaccines and innovative health solutions for the world’s most challenging diseases. Merck Animal Health, a division of Merck & Co., Inc., Rahway, N.J., USA, is the global animal health business unit of Merck. Through its commitment to The Science of Healthier Animals®, Merck Animal Health offers veterinarians, farmers, pet owners and governments one of the widest ranges of veterinary pharmaceuticals, vaccines and health management solutions and services as well as an extensive suite of connected technology that includes identification, traceability and monitoring products. Merck Animal Health is dedicated to preserving and improving the health, well-being and performance of animals and the people who care for them. It invests extensively in dynamic and comprehensive R&D resources and a modern, global supply chain. Merck Animal Health is present in more than 50 countries, while its products are available in some 150 markets. For more information, visit www.merck-animal-health.com and connect with us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Oval Park Capital
Oval Park Capital invests in early-stage deep tech companies with exceptional founders, operating in underserved markets, and commercializing disruptive technologies that solve costly problems in large, inefficient global industries. Oval Park strives to support traditionally underrepresented founders and places special emphasis on investments that have the potential to not only provide strong investment returns but also generate strong positive social and environmental impact. For more information, visit www.ovalpark.com.
NovaQuest Capital Management
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