US-based Zoetis has come to an exclusive evaluation and license option agreement with Anatara Lifesciences regarding the Detach product, reported the Australia-based company.
Anatara will retain rights to the product in the Australian and New Zealand markets, while Zoetis will have the ability to develop the product for use in multiple countries.
The partnership came after discussions with several companies in the animal health sector, said Paul Schober, Anatara CEO. The company was seeking a partner to help develop and license the product.
“The agreement sees Anatara receive an upfront and then subsequent payments during the option period,” he told Feed Navigator. The funding is expected to strengthen the company’s financial position.
The Detach product is currently approve for use in swine, said Schober.
However, the deal with Zoetis will offer funding to explore use of the technology in other food-production animals including poultry, calves and other livestock, he said.
“The costs of the aggressive research program to investigate the utility of Detach in a number of livestock species in this agreement will also be borne by Zoetis,” he said. “Overall, this will unlock the potential of Detach to reach several global markets faster than Anatara could do alone.”
“With Zoetis as a partner for the use of Detach in food producing animals, Anatara can now potentially bring forward its plans to develop Detach for companion animals as well as human use in the treatment of diarrhea, particularly in Third World countries for both residents and travelers,” he said. “Our initial focus will involve identifying a partner already working in this area.”
Currently, the Detach product is used to prevent or improve occurrences of diarrhea in young pigs, reported Anatara. It uses a form of BromelainRX to prevent diarrhea-causing organisms from taking hold in the small intestine and can limit inflammation.
It offers an antibiotic-free option for producing young pigs, said company officials. In one past trial with the technology, pigs receiving the treatment saw up to a 33% increase in feed conversion ratios, when compared to piglets getting an antibiotic feed additive.
Antibiotic-free technologies may be increasingly popular as both world health authorities and governments work to limit the agricultural use of antibiotic treatments in response to concerns about the development of antimicrobial resistant bacteria, said Schober.
“If Zoetis decides to take up the option to license Detach following the evaluation period and agrees to satisfactory terms, Zoetis will have the right to market Detach around the world,” he said. “Detach will thus be able to reach a large and growing market rapidly.”
One goal is to have the product be available on the global market, he added.
“Anatara’s Detach technology has potential to play a part as an alternative to traditional antibiotics to treat gastrointestinal disease in farm animals,” said Scott Brown, vice president, external innovation, at Zoetis. “We look forward to evaluating the potential utility of this innovative technology as we seek to offer our veterinary and livestock producer customers worldwide new solutions that help protect animal health and bring value to their businesses.”