top of page

Advanced Animal Diagnostics announces 
three new board members

Top agricultural and life science executives support emerging era of animal agriculture – rapid, on-farm diagnostics for early disease detection

DURHAM, NC — March 24, 2015 — Advanced Animal Diagnostics (AAD) added three individuals to its board of directors, following the recent close of its $15 million Series C round of equity financing. Bob Shapiro, managing director of Cultivian Sandbox Ventures; Tony Simpson, managing director of Kansas Bioscience Authority; and Dennis Dougherty, managing general partner of Intersouth Partners joined the board of directors to guide AAD, a developer of rapid on-farm diagnostic technologies.
AAD provides diagnostics that detect disease early and accurately, empowering livestock producers to make real-time management decisions that increase productivity, prevent losses, improve animal welfare and protect the food supply. AAD developed and launched QScout
® MLD (milk leukocyte differential) test for early detection of subclinical mastitis in dairy cows, along with QScout® Farm Lab which reads QScout MLD and other rapid, on-farm tests in development.
“We are fortunate to augment our board with these visionary leaders,” says AAD CEO Joy Parr Drach. “Each brings distinct and deep experience in developing innovative agricultural and life sciences companies.”
Shapiro, whose Illinois-based Cultivian Sandbox Ventures invests in emerging technologies that address agriculture’s biggest challenges, says AAD fits well into their mission as investors as it offers advanced technologies that help livestock producers manage their animals better and run more efficiently as a business.
“What’s most important about AAD technology is it provides early diagnosis of disease, and therefore better prospects for treatment,” continues Shapiro, former Monsanto CEO. “As with human diagnostics, we want early indications so we can treat diseases more efficiently and minimize their damage. Applying these advanced technologies to the health of animals raised to provide nutrition to humans is of great importance to livestock producers in this country and around the word, and to all of us as consumers.”
Shapiro is the co-founder and managing director of Sandbox Industries, a venture capital firm that partners with Cultivian Sandbox for investments in food and agriculture technology. He is the former chairman of Pharmacia, chairman and CEO of Monsanto, and chairman and CEO of The NutraSweet Company. He previously served as vice president and general counsel of G.D. Searle & Company and General Instrument Corporation. Prior to this, he practiced law in New York City and was a professor of law at Northeastern University in Boston and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Simpson spent nine years with POET, where he started two major green-field ethanol plants and led equity drives, refinancings and expansion efforts for these facilities. Before that, he held positions at ADM in trading and plant operations management. He also served as general manager for ED&F Man’s ethanol operations in the United States, leading asset management and business development efforts. Simpson serves on the selection committee for the Animal Health Investment Forum, chairs the selection committee for the ag, food and bioenergy tract for InvestMidwest Venture Capital Forum, and is a member of Global AgTech Investors Network.
Dougherty founded Intersouth Partners in 1985 and led investments in ag companies like Athenix and Paradigm Genetics. Previously, Dougherty was an office managing partner and head of the high growth business practice for Touche Ross & Co. Dougherty is active in the venture industry, having served on the National Venture Capital Association board of directors and Kauffman Fellows Program steering committee. He was a mentor for two classes of Kauffman Fellows, and served on the North Carolina State University Seed Fund board and Governor’s Biotechnology Steering Committee. He was a founder of the Council for Entrepreneurial Development and chair of its first Venture Conference.
They join AAD board members Steve Weinstein, managing director of the Novartis Venture Fund; Ben Shelton, DVM, owner of Rocky Creek Dairy and Rocky Creek Veterinary Service; Joy Parr Drach, AAD president and CEO; and chairman of the board Randall Marcuson.

About Advanced Animal Diagnostics
Advanced Animal Diagnostics (AAD), Durham, N.C., provides livestock producers with diagnostics that improve profitability and empower more precise care of animals so they live healthier, more productive lives. AAD is committed to researching, developing and commercializing the industry’s most reliable, on-farm diagnostic tests, such as QScout MLD test for early detection of subclinical mastitis in dairy cows. With its diagnostic offerings, the company aims to empower real-time management decisions that increase productivity, prevent losses, improve animal welfare and protect the food supply. For more information, visit or call 1-855 Q2COUNT.

About the Investors
Cultivian Sandbox is a venture capital fund focused on high-technology opportunities in the food and agricultural sectors. Cultivian Sandbox works closely with the management of emerging technology companies to bring cutting-edge technology solutions to market. The fund focuses on investments in animal health, biobased products and processes, environmental technologies, food safety, human wellness, and production technologies. For more information, visit

Kansas Bioscience Authority is a venture investor focused in agribusiness, animal health, and human health innovations. The team brings deep sector expertise and co-investors together to accelerate bioscience company growth generating results for the entrepreneur, the investor, Kansas and the world. For more information, visit

Intersouth Partners is one of the most active and experienced venture capital firms in the Southeast, having invested in more than 100 private companies. Founded in 1985, Intersouth manages $780 million in seven venture capital limited partnerships, making it the largest venture capital fund in North Carolina and one of the largest in the Southeast. For more information, visit

bottom of page