DENMARK— Bactolife, a Denmark-based gut microbiome health startup, has secured a US$5 million investment from The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to accelerate the development of its technology platform, Binding Protein, a novel biologic solution to reduce the risk of gut infections in humans and animals.
Founded in 2017, Bactolife’s technology is based on nanobodies for management of bacterial virulence without the use of antibiotics. Anti-virulence products are of great interest to the AMR field – the company said they have the potential to reduce pathogenicity without creating a driver for antibiotic resistance.
The company says Binding Proteins are stable and highly cost-effective and can be produced at a large scale using leading-edge systems for biomanufacturing and formulated into food and feed products, making them easy to ingest.
Bactolife claims its technology can drastically lower use of antimicrobials in both humans and animals in a cost-effective manner, addressing the urgent need for alternative strategies for management of gastrointestinal infections that have a huge economic impact both in terms of productivity in animal production, and the burden of AMR on the health care system.
Its lead product Ablacto+ developed in collaboration with Novozymes, the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Denmark pig research group, SEGES and Aarhus University. has shown efficacy in preventing post-weaning diarrhea (PWD) in piglets, according to the developer.
“PWD is caused by E. coli infection and occurs as weaned piglets are not protected by antibodies found in the sow’s milk resulting in morbidity and mortality. If untreated it can lead to large economical losses in industrial pig production,” the company said.
The product was developed as an alternative to medicinal zinc oxide (ZnO), as pharmacological doses of that product have been banned for use in EU piglet production since June 2022 due to reports demonstrating zinc oxide’s contribution to environmental pollution and the rising level of AMR.
Although to date the EU is imposing the strictest regulations on ZnO in piglet production, other markets are also starting to reduce the levels of ZnO in piglet diets.
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