About Tammie Wahaus

As Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Board Chair, Ms. Wahaus has led the strategic planning, business development, manufacturing, regulatory and clinical trial activities of the company since 2014. Ms. Wahaus has more than 25 years of experience serving in key leadership roles in public and private companies. She joined TVAX Biomedical (an affiliate) in 2012 as Chief Financial Officer and was responsible for developing the animal health business strategy which was then spun off as ELIAS Animal Health.

An Entrepreneur’s Journey | It Takes a Village: Understanding the Critical Roles Played by the Care Team Treating Canine Cancer Patients

We’re mid-way through An Entrepreneur’s Journey, a 3-part series that highlights the innovation, people, and opportunities that have been part of my ELIAS journey. Last week, I focused on solving a problem: treating dogs with cancer using methods that lengthened and improved their quality of life. This segment is dedicated to the people who are part of the solution. The family veterinarian plays an important role in a pet’s life and in the lives of the family who loves them, similar to that of a primary care doctor in the human realm. Through regular check-ups, the family veterinarian keeps the dog healthy.  When he or she suspects something is wrong, they assess the issue and connect the pet and owners to a specialist if necessary. When a dog is diagnosed with cancer, it starts a process of care. The initial point of contact is often the family veterinarian, who diagnoses [...]

By |2022-03-16T17:49:59-06:00March 10th, 2022|Blog|0 Comments

An Entrepreneur’s Journey | Part 1: Can Cancer in Dogs Be Treated Without Chemotherapy?

Entrepreneurs look to solve problems.  Needs spark ideas, ideas spark innovation, and innovation births new companies. We founded ELIAS Animal Health to transform cancer treatment for pets by bring the state-of-the-art therapeutics benefiting humans into the animal world. Chemotherapy has been the standard of care treatment for dogs with cancer for decades. Until recently, it was often the only option available. Chemo kills cancer cells but because it’s so powerful, it damages surrounding healthy cells and ravages the body. Our goal was to find an alternative way to treat canine cancer, one that is effective and less taxing on our canine counterparts. Millions and millions of dollars fund human cancer research and treatment, but our pets traditionally haven’t benefited from it the same way that people have. At ELIAS, we collaborate with our peers in human health to apply the advancements in immunotherapy to animals. Our goal is to bring [...]

By |2022-03-16T17:42:36-06:00March 3rd, 2022|Blog|0 Comments

Canine Cancer Continuum | Part 3: How Immunotherapy Works and Why It’s So Effective

In this final installment of the Canine Cancer Continuum, we talk about immunotherapy - what it is, how it works, and how it can help in the fight against cancer. (Check out Part 1 and Part 2.) “Without an immune system, we would have no way to fight harmful things that enter our body from the outside or harmful changes that occur inside our body. The main tasks of the body’s immune system are: to fight disease-causing germs (pathogens) like bacteria, viruses, parasites or fungi, and to remove them from the body, to recognize and neutralize harmful substances from the environment, and to fight disease-causing changes in the body, such as cancer cells.” (National Institutes of Health) In a nutshell, our immune systems are powerful mechanisms designed to protect us and keep us healthy. They work 24/7 to fight off external threats, like viruses and environmental stressors, and internal threats, like stresses to normal [...]

By |2022-05-30T12:06:05-06:00February 4th, 2022|Blog|0 Comments

Canine Cancer Continuum | Part 2: The Connection Between Canine and Human Cancer

We’re halfway through a series exploring canine cancer. Last week, we discussed the prevalence of dog cancer, and today we will explore the connection between it and human cancer. Human cancer research is extensive. Almost anyone I encounter has either battled cancer themselves or has journeyed that path with someone close to them. Many people are surprised to learn that one in four dogs are diagnosed with cancer and that it’s the leading cause of death in canines. ELIAS Animal Health applies the advancements in human immunotherapy to dogs. They’re good models. From a scientific perspective, we are able to gather data more quickly than in human research because dogs have a shorter lifespan and cancer progresses more quickly in them. From a “we love our furry friends” perspective, we want to bring needed therapies into the veterinary marketplace that help people. ELIAS Cancer Therapies Are Being Simultaneously Developed for Humans [...]

By |2022-05-30T12:14:05-06:00January 27th, 2022|Blog|0 Comments

Canine Cancer Continuum | Part 1: The Prevalence of Dog Cancer

We’re embarking on a 3-part series that explores dog cancer, how our research and progress can be applied to humans, what immunotherapy is, and why it can be so effective. “Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs and as a rank order, higher than people…” - Dr. Doug Thamm Dogs live in the same environments as humans, exposed to the carcinogens that their owners are. It’s not surprising, then, that one in four dogs is diagnosed with cancer, and it’s the leading cause of death in pets beyond middle age (Veterinary Cancer Society). Dogs experience cancer at rates that are comparable to or exceed those in humans. Canine cancer has primarily been treated the same way for decades - with chemotherapy. Dr. Carolyn Henry, Dean of the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine, has said she is “frustrated by the fact that we don’t see many new therapies coming [...]

By |2022-05-30T12:01:26-06:00January 20th, 2022|Blog|0 Comments

Change Is Hard But Worth the Effort | Part 4: Create a Culture of Change

Change. We’ve established that it’s hard all around - for people, leaders, and entire organizations. It requires commitment, willingness to do things differently, and being open to other thought processes and approaches. Successfully executing change is a big deal! However, since companies are ever-moving, growing, shifting, and improving, it’s a never-ending endeavor. By creating a culture of change, organizations can circumvent much of the uncertainty and resistance that accompanies isolated changes. Creating an environment that is change-conducive, flexible, and adaptive supports your team as they shift and adjust - a much better alternative than tossing them into the shark tank! Forbes published an article a couple of years ago that spotlights 14 Ways To Build a Company Culture That Embraces Change. We’ve discussed much of what they cover in the first 3 installments of this series: Why Change is Hard, The Change Maze, and How to Manage Change. The authors point out a few more essentials that, when effectively implemented, [...]

By |2022-01-08T14:46:32-06:00November 4th, 2021|Blog|0 Comments

Change is Hard But Worth the Effort | Part 3: How to Manage Change

Over the last couple of weeks, ELIAS blogs have explored Why Change is Hard and navigating the Change Maze. The third installment in our Change is Hard But Worth the Effort series focuses on the people piece - how to manage change. Stagnancy stifles. In a world that seems to spin faster and faster, it’s more important than ever for businesses to keep moving and stay ahead of economic and technological changes and advances. Words like innovation and creativity are no longer associated with cutting-edge companies (the Innovators we discussed in Part 2); they are mainstream, essential for growth and success. Whether you love it or hate it, change is necessary. Perhaps the leadership team is on board, ready to do things differently. Top-down management may have its benefits in some instances, but when it comes to change, it’s essential to have the support of your team. After all, they’re the ones who will [...]

By |2022-01-08T14:44:26-06:00October 28th, 2021|Blog|0 Comments

Change is Hard But Worth the Effort | Part 2: The Change Maze

Last week’s blog took a deep dive into why Change is Hard But Worth the Effort. Change “requires a passion for doing things differently (which often means there’s a better way of doing things / a better solution / an innovation that improves results or efficiencies, etc.), the creation of new processes and muscle memory for your team, and a decision to not only implement the change but commit to its success (or failure) by tracking results.” The first step is deciding to change. That’s often at least half of the battle. Decisions, however, do not come to fruition without action. Change is a process. A few years ago, I read Spencer Johnson’s #1 bestseller, Who Moved My Cheese? It’s a parable that reveals truths about how we deal with change. In the book, two little people and two mice are in a maze, searching for cheese (success). They learned how to navigate the [...]

By |2022-01-08T14:40:07-06:00October 21st, 2021|Blog|0 Comments

Change is Hard But Worth the Effort | Part 1: Why is Change Hard?

Change. When you hear that word, what is your reaction? For some, it’s excitement and exhilaration. Others break into a cold sweat and suffer heart palpitations. Many of us fall somewhere in the middle. Whether we like it or not, we live in a world that constantly shifts and innovates (i.e. changes). This launches a 4-part series on change - why it’s hard, how to do it, how to manage it, and why it’s worth the effort to endure. Whether you love it or hate it, change is hard, especially when it involves teams and systems and processes that have long been established and are comfortable from start to finish. At ELIAS Animal Health, we understand how difficult it can be to implement change. Our process to treat canine cancer varies dramatically from the treatment that has held steady for the past 20 years. Our ground-breaking immunotherapy requires veterinarians and [...]

By |2021-10-15T12:18:18-06:00October 14th, 2021|Blog|0 Comments

From Inspiration to Thriving – 4 Steps to Building a Successful Company | Step 4: The Pivot

In this fourth and final installment of From Inspiration to Thriving - 4 Steps to Build a Successful Company, ELIAS Animal Health’s founder, Tammie Wahaus, discusses how Step 4: The Pivot, is essential to growth. Our series started at the beginning with The Idea - the light bulb moment that births a company. We discovered that ideas are only ideas until The Team is in place to turn the idea into a tangible reality. Startup mode is tough, and even great teams have gaps. Your Board of Directors or Advisory Board should be comprised of seasoned professionals who will guide the company through the steps needed to achieve goals and growth. Pivot or Shift? Once those 3 key Steps have been accomplished, great companies position themselves to pivot and shift when circumstances arise that require a different approach. Over the past couple of years, pivoting has become synonymous with the word shift, but they’re actually very different. Both are change [...]

By |2021-10-15T12:13:04-06:00October 7th, 2021|Blog|0 Comments
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