CI-FER [ferric citrate chelate] for piglets is Akeso’s first product for the EU market based on its Fe3C technology.
Akeso said it conducted five efficacy studies in the EU to demonstrate that piglets receiving CI-FER, which is administered through the feed, grew faster, exhibiting higher body weights and better feed efficiency than control piglets.
“The efficacy studies in question were conducted at two sites in Germany. One of the sites was the Free University of Berlin,” Simon Williams, Akeso CEO, told us.
In its scientific opinion on the use of the additive in feed for piglets, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that the effects of CI-FER could not be ascribed to a nutritional effect only since CI-FER delivered better performance than other iron sources when piglet feeds were supplemented at the same iron concentrations, noted Akeso.
That organization also said that three trials demonstrated better fecal quality in weaned piglets that received CI-FER, adding that in one trial, oxidative stress parameters and gene expression in the mid-jejunum and ascending colon of weaned piglets were measured, and showed significant improvements, indicative of post-weaning health benefits, reported the developer.
Pathogen reduction in poultry
Williams said the EU approval of CI-FER is timely considering that the European market is bringing in a ban on medicinal use of zinc oxide, widely used at high veterinary doses to improve gut health, reduce diarrhea, and enhance performance.
“We have not measured reductions of pathogens in piglets. That work has however been done in poultry,” said the CEO.
Challenge studies carried out in broiler chickens with CI-FER, said the firm, showed significant reductions in enteric bacteria associated with animal and human diseases, notably Campylobacter, Salmonella, Clostridium and E. coli, as well as improved zootechnical performance, and reduced mortality.
“There is an EU dossier pending for use of CI-FER in poultry. Studies to support use of CI-FER in piglets were completed before the poultry studies. Hence the authorization for piglets is ahead of poultry. We are hoping to have authorization for poultry by mid-2022.”
The Fe3C technology was discovered at the University of Nottingham by Dr Mahdavi, Professor Soultanas, and Professor Ala’Aldeen. Targeted at reducing pathogen biofilm formation at gut mucosal interfaces, the technology is protected by an IP portfolio of 15 issued patents.