During the summer of 2011, Oklahoma veterinarian Dr. Patrick Young, DVM saw an increased number of Pigeon Fever cases in the horses he was treating. Knowing he needed to do something about it, Dr. Young decided to be proactive and begin the search for a vaccine. After three years of research and testing, he developed the first preventative equine vaccine for Pigeon Fever.
“The main reason I decided to do something about it is I honestly got tired of treating all of these horses,” says Dr. Young.
While working countless hours and using his own money from his clinic, Dr. Young realized he enjoyed the process of discovery and wanted to help fight other regional diseases. At the same time, he was lured by the beauty and lifestyle of Central Oregon and decided to move his family here. And thus, Bird Dog Bioventures was born.
Dr. Young created Bird Dog Bioventures as a biotechnology startup company. The company’s plan is to develop prevention techniques, such as vaccines or supplements, while researching underserved or unaddressed veterinary medical biotechnology. They will take each product from theory to proof of concept to application. In the end, they will license each individual prevention to a larger biotechnology or pharmaceutical company.
Bird Dog Bioventures plans to bridge the gap between regional demand for prevention technology and limited desire from larger companies to invest their resources. Dr. Young experienced this disinterest first hand as he researched the Pigeon Fever vaccine.
“As I found out, large companies don’t want to spend resources researching and developing products that won’t sell more than five million dollars worth,” illustrates Dr. Young.
A recent transplant to the area, Dr. Young brought his 16 years of equine experience, his wife, three children, two horses and rescued dog to Tumalo. Born and raised the youngest of 10 children in Texarkana, Texas, Dr. Young obtained his Doctor of Veterinarian Medicine from Mississippi State College in 1998. His primary specialty is in lameness diagnosis, treatment and chiropractic therapies for horses and small animals.
Dr. Young and his family fell in love with Central Oregon after a vacation two years ago. They ended up visiting several more times and finally solidified the intention to move here after attending last October’s Economic Development of Central Oregon.
“I moved to Central Oregon for the lifestyle, outdoor opportunities, and the business and entrepreneurial opportunities,” explains Dr. Young.
Bird Dog Bioventures will specifically tackle diseases in horses and small animals. Dr. Young cites Salmon Poisoning Disease in dogs as one of the first Pacific Northwest regional diseases to research. As the company grows, outside funding will be sought after to realize their goal of reaching larger audiences.
In addition to his veterinarian clinic work and his biotechnology goals, Dr. Young gives back to the community as much as possible. In 1999, he rushed to the scene of the Moore, Oklahoma tornado to help with the misplaced and hurt animals. He also expresses a desire to help in some local therapeutic riding centers and take equitation trips to poverty-stricken nations such as Guatemala.
Dr. Young currently shares veterinarian clinic space with Dr. Scott Weems at Sisters Equine, just outside of Sisters. There, as well as at house calls, Dr. Young provides treatments and nutritional supplements for horses. Dr. Young, and the Denver-based biological company he worked with, Colorado Serum, are expecting USDA-licensing for the Pigeon Fever vaccine within the next 18 to 24 months.
In explaining his desire to help, Dr. Young says, “when you have the passion to get something done, you will do whatever it takes, within reason.”
Bird Dog Bioventures/The Athletic Horse
Location: At Sisters Equine 67550 Harrington Loop Road, Bend, OR 97701
Phone/Website: 405-409-8690, www.theathletichorse.com
CEO: Dr. Patrick Young, DVM
Year Established: 2001
Product/Services: Diagnosis and treatment for horses and small animals.
Hot News: Recently ventured in biotechnology to find vaccines for regional diseases in animals.
Outlook: Strong outlook in filling the needs of underserved areas of animal treatment.