The product, Ablacto+, can potentially stabilize the gut of piglets and reduce the severity of post weaning diarrhea (PWD), said the partners.
PWD is a major, global swine health challenge caused by E. coli infections in newly weaned pigs, and an issue that results in significant financial losses for producers, noted the collaborators. “Additionally, PWD is considered the main driver for antibiotic use in weaner pigs. In Denmark alone, antibiotic consumption among weaners constitutes 49% of the total use of antibiotics in pigs (DANMAP 2021).”
Ablacto+ has already shown promising results in large scale swine trials, said Sandra Wingaard Thrane, CSO and co-founder, Bactolife.
“To date, we have conducted a range of studies to validate the effect and broad applicability of Ablacto+ in industrial pig production. Specifically, in 2022, we conducted field trials in farms in both EU and US, with the largest including over 4,500 animals conducted in collaboration with SEGES Pig Research Center in Denmark. [That study showed] that this feed additive can provide farmers with improved productivity, seen as higher feed conversion ratio (FCR) and average daily gain (ADG). Furthermore, the increased health of the animals resulted in a reduced need for antibiotic treatment,” she told FeedNavigator.
Mode of action
Expanding further on the product’s mode of action, she said Ablacto+ is comprised of binding proteins, small stable proteins derived from natural immunoglobulins:
“They bind with affinity and specificity to some of the toxins and virulence factors of pathogenic E. coli strains, which are often involved in PWD in piglets. The proteins protect the piglets’ gut and support healthy weaning as the piglets transition to solid feed.”
Development and commercialization
Novozymes will develop and produce the final product and has the global exclusive marketing and sales responsibility for it.
Sofie Louise Trads, marketing director, animal health and nutrition marketing, Novozymes, outlined how that company was an early investor in Bactolife: “We believe in the binding proteins technology and in fostering new innovation with third parties, so the partnership with Bactolife made sense.”
A good partnership is dependent on two things: a clear common goal, and clear roles, she said. In the case of the Ablacto+ tie-up, both of those boxes are ticked, added Trads.
“Together with Bactolife, we want to solve a pressing issue for swine producers [and in doing so] that will also have a positive effect on global health [in terms of] reducing the use of antibiotics [in pig production].
“Bactolife has contributed [to this project] with the early-stage development of its novel binding proteins technology, and now Novozymes can contribute further via our upscaling and commercialization muscle,” said the marketing director.
Specifically, Novozymes will invest heavily in upscaling as well as in the animal trials needed to enable a global launch. “Together we will bring a stronger product to market, faster, than if we did it alone.”
The plan is to launch Ablacto+ in 2026, with initial rollout anticipated for Latin American countries “due to the high potential and regulatory nature of those markets.”
But that feed additive will be a global product with plans to introduce it in all major swine-producing regions, confirmed Trads.