AniV8 appoints Dr. Ellie Virtue as Chief Executive Officer

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  • Experienced animal health executive to drive development and commercialization of AniV8’s innovative clinical sensor technology
  • Development phase for first wearable monitor to detect osteoarthritis-related pain in companion animals making strong progress

Delaware, US, 15 July 2021 – AniV8, a leading developer of clinical sensor technology to diagnose and monitor diseases affecting companion animals, today announced that Dr. Ellie Virtue has been appointed Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect. Dr. Virtue has extensive scientific and commercial experience in the field of animal health, including the development of human and animal health pain therapeutics.

Dr. Virtue has 15 years’ experience in the animal health industry, including as a venture partner at Stonehaven Incubate, one of AniV8’s founding partners, where she identified and developed innovative human health technologies that have potential for the animal health market. Dr. Virtue worked on therapeu­tic treatments for osteoarthritic pain in companion animals at monoclonal antibody company Nexvet Biopharma from 2011 to 2017. As the business grew from a small start-up to a NASDAQ-listed global company, Dr. Virtue’s roles and capabilities evolved across R&D, operations, alliance management and business development. She holds a Master of Applied Finance from Macquarie University and a PhD from the University of Melbourne.

Dr. B Duncan X Lascelles, co-founder, Chief Scientific Advisor and member of the Board of AniV8, and Professor in Small Animal Surgery and Pain Management at North Carolina State University, said: “Ellie’s commercial and business expertise, combined with a strong background in animal health and the develop­ment of novel osteoarthritic pain therapeutics, make her the ideal candidate to drive the development of AniV8’s unique monitoring technology. We believe AniV8’s lead product has the potential to revolutionize the management of many companion animal diseases, facilitating earlier diagnosis and the optimization of treatment strategies.”

Jarne Elleholm, CEO of Stonehaven Incubate, added: “As one of the founders of AniV8, we are delighted that Ellie has joined as CEO to drive this exciting venture to develop and commercialize sensor technology to improve animal health. Previously as a venture partner at Stonehaven Incubate, Ellie was part of the AniV8 project team from its inception and she knows the company by heart, which is a huge advantage.”

“AniV8’s clinical sensor technology is underpinned by ground-breaking data science and movement metrics and is aimed at easing the unnecessary suffering of pets through early diagnosis that will enable more appropriate treatment. Our immediate focus is on bringing AniV8’s first product, to diagnose and monitor osteoarthritis pain in dogs and cats, to the market as quickly as possible. It can take many years before dogs and cats show obvious signs of pain, and this wearable technology would enable pet owners and veterinarians to assess problems more rapidly and to identify if treatment options are effective. I look forward to working with the excellent team at AniV8 to unlock the full potential of this much-needed innovation,” commented Dr. Ellie Virtue, CEO of AniV8.The collar-mounted device being developed by AniV8 is based on high quality collaborations, using patented proprietary algorithms and cloud-based data analytics to measure the quality – rather than quantity – of movement. It is the first wearable health tracker to diagnose and monitor osteoarthritis pain in dogs and cats in this way. In 2020, the company signed a collaboration agreement with Elanco Animal Health, a global leader in animal health, to evaluate AniV8’s wearable technology in research settings.

For more information, please contact:

Beatrix Benz at or +41 79 256 77 73

About Aniv8

AniV8 (pronounced An-i-vate) is designed to become the leading developer of clinical sensor technology recommended by veterinarians to diagnose and monitor common companion animal disease states. It was co-founded by Stonehaven Incubate, Dr. B Duncan X Lascelles and Sports Performance Tracking (SPT). Website: Aniv8

About Stonehaven Incubate

Swiss-based Stonehaven Incubate AG was formed in February 2018 and is a dedicated animal health group committed to creating new companies de novo from disruptive human technology. Stonehaven Incubate works with innovators and builds strategies for new, stand-alone animal health companies. It finds experienced management teams and sources the required capital, leaving no stone unturned in its quest to bring human innovations to animal health. Website: Stonehaven Incubate

About Sports Performance Tracking (SPT)

SPT is a leading developer and manufacturer of sports wearable GPS devices and software that record and analyse in-game performance metrics. The company has customers in more than 100 countries, including schools, healthcare professionals, local rugby associations and the Spanish Football League. SPT aims to be the world leader in wearable sporting technology and to help community sports men and women train in the same way as professionals. Website: SPT