Aroa: The New Zealand company using sheep to help repair human bodies

Business is Boring is a weekly podcast series presented by The Spinoff in association with Callaghan Innovation. Host Simon Pound speaks with innovators and commentators focused on the future of New Zealand. This week he talks to Dr Brian Ward of soft-tissue repair company Aroa.

Dr Paul Callaghan, who inspired Callaghan Innovation, had the idea that 100 great companies doing tightly focused products with global ambitions could change our economy, and this week on Business is Boring we have one of those companies.

You might not have heard of soft-tissue repair, but it’s big business. In New Zealand, we have a company called Aroa which uses materials from sheep stomachs that were previously a low value commodity to help provide the scaffolding for human bodies to repair wounds.

The science is remarkable, and it’s happening at great scale. Run from New Zealand by founder and CEO Dr Brian Ward, Aroa has more than 100 staff, patents around the world, FDA approval, and a partnership with some huge healthcare players. Ward started as a vet, went into big Pharma, ran NZBio, and then got the idea to use animal tissue to repair human tissue.

To talk about the story of turning that idea into a worldwide company, Dr Brian Ward joined the podcast.

Either download this episode (right click and save)have a listen below or via Spotify, subscribe through iTunes (RSS feed).


Environmental Innovation is the focus for this year’s C-Prize challenge – Callaghan Innovation is asking innovators to develop tech solutions with the power to change environmental outcomes. Business advice, mentoring and R&D expertise will support finalists to turn their concepts into reality. Follow the C-Prize journey.


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