The Kansas City Star is reporting that animal health biotech firm Synbiotics Corp. is relocating from San Diego to Kansas City, Mo.

Executives for Synbiotics Corp. selected Kansas City out of five Midwestern locations seeking the relocation of the company's headquarters and research laboratories, the paper says Paul Hays, president and CEO, said last week.

The company needed to be closer to many of its customers, animal disease researchers and animal vaccine manufacturers, Hays said. "Kansas City is the best location to touch all of those."

The Star said Synbiotics, which is expected to employ 42 people and invest $3.5 million for equipment in the area, represents an early success for the new KC Animal Health Corridor initiative. Company officials expect to have a building on the Missouri side of the metro area renovated in time to move in by January or February.

The veterinary schools at Kansas State University and the University of Missouri-Columbia are one advantage cited by local officials, and one that helped attract Synbiotics, The Star said.

The company already is collaborating with Kansas State researchers and will explore similar opportunities with their counterparts in Columbia, Hays said.

Synbiotics makes tests such as those used by veterinarians to detect heartworms in dogs and cats. It also has a leading avian influenza test among its detection products for poultry, cattle, swine and horse producers. The company reported $10.8 million in sales for the first six months of the year, up 7 percent from the same period in 2005.

SOURCE: The Kansas City Star.