Bovine mastitis is a major economic and welfare challenge for the global dairy industry and reduces both milk yield and quality.
An inflammatory response of the udder tissue in the mammary gland caused by microorganisms that most often gain entry via the teat canal, the disease is estimated to cost the sector up to US$32bn annually, according to an article published by the University of Glasgow.
Anifera’s technology is aiming to improve antibiotic efficacy and ultimately reduce the overall use of antibiotics in multiple disease states.
The UK company’s small molecule compounds seek to potentiate the effects of the antibiotic:
“The compounds, which are delivered via intramammary administration and in combination with the antibiotic, are a new class of 2-aminoimidazole molecules that inhibit bacterial resistance mechanisms through a novel mode of action.
“They target the response regulator protein of the bacterial two-component system, which are uniquely and ubiquitously expressed by bacteria – with no mammalian or avian homologs,” explained a spokesperson for Anifera.
The first compounds originated from a natural product – ageliferin – isolated from a marine sponge (Agelas conifera). “The newer compounds are synthetic derivatives,” the representative told us.
Expanded research work
Dr Gwynneth Thomas, CEO of Anifera, said the company, which was formed by Stonehaven Incubate and Agile Sciences in 2020, had seen very encouraging results on the technology in early studies focused on bovine mastitis.
“We look forward to moving ahead with additional development work aimed at further exploring improvements in the efficacy of existing antibiotics when used in combination with our compound, helping to advance sustainability in animal health. We are grateful for the continued commitment of Stonehaven Incubate as we seek to bring these potentially ground-breaking compounds to market as soon as possible.”
Jarne Elleholm, CEO of Stonehaven Incubate, believes that Anifera has the potential to pioneer new ways of treating bovine mastitis, offering immediate financial and welfare benefits to dairy farmers.
“We are committed to helping Anifera advance these important studies and drive innovation to improve the efficacy of antibiotics. We share their goal of ultimately reducing the usage of antibiotics in disease states across animal health where they are the first line of treatment.”