Avivagen’s Unique Solution to Human Antibiotic Resistance Arising from Animal Feed Practices
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Antibiotic resistance in humans is considered to be this century’s single greatest global health threat. Most recently, the UN committed to fighting ‘the biggest threat to modern medicine’: antibiotic resistance with all 193 UN member states signing a declaration to fight drug-resistant superbugs, which, to the UN estimates, kill more than 700,000 people each year. An Oxford Journals’ Clinical Infectious Diseases article states “The ongoing explosion of antibiotic-resistant infections . . . could mean a literal return to the pre-antibiotic era for many types of infections.”
The principal causes of antibiotic resistance include the common and widespread use of antibiotics in animal feeds to produce meat consumed by humans, as well as over-prescription by physicians. In the United States the FDA reports more than 62% of the antibiotics defined as medically-important for humans are sold for agricultural use, rendering antibiotic resistance as a clear and present danger to society.
Avivagen’s OxC-beta™ Livestock (“OxC-beta”) is a commercially-available, antibiotic-free, economically competitive product that maintains feed efficiency and weight gain across species with equal or superior efficacy to the antibiotics used ubiquitously for the purpose.
Historically, with limited alternatives, the use of antibiotics to promote growth and prevent certain infections in livestock has been viewed as essential to the economics of raising poultry, swine and cattle. Europe, however, prohibited the routine use of antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) in 2006. Advocacy for the same restrictions to be implemented globally is well established with countries including the United States, Canada and much of Asia being on the cusp of banning their use.
Alternatives to AGPs are numerous but with highly-varied and anecdotal results from inconsistent dosages, varied production processes and non-standardized potency. They have been described as “a hodgepodge of probiotics, pre-biotics and vitamins” for which it is impossible to objectively determine what is having an effect. Equally importantly, unlike OxC-beta no single alternative product is efficacious across multiple species. In addition, OxC-beta has superior handling characteristics and is effective at low parts per-million levels in feed.
Avivagen’s Unique OxC-beta™ Product
Avivagen has developed a non-antibiotic replacement for growth promotion and prophylaxis in livestock with results equal to or greater than those provided by the use of AGPs. The OxC-beta product has demonstrated its efficacy in numerous, scientifically-rigorous field trials that also confirm its unique effectiveness across species. OxC-beta has no direct antibacterial effects, rendering the risk of creating antibiotic-resistant pathogens non-existent.
Central to Avivagen’s first-in-class AGP alternative is the original discovery, made at Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) by Avivagen’s co-founding scientists; the natural ability of the micronutrient β-carotene to spontaneously form a polymeric compound in the presence of oxygen. Subsequently the β-carotene-oxygen copolymer compound was discovered to have immune-promoting and inflammation-moderating attributes. This led to the development of the proprietary OxC-beta product, which incorporates the synthetic β-carotene copolymer compound, produced via the same oxidation reaction that occurs in nature, and that is chemically highly similar to the natural product. OxC-beta is the result of over two decades of research and development and ~$30 million of investment through Avivagen and NRC.
OxC-beta is initially being commercialized in Asia, where a number of jurisdictions are first-followers of Europe’s 2006 ban on antibiotics in livestock feed, in anticipation of the rapidly-evolving regulatory environment in North and South America and the rest of the world for the replacement of in-feed antibiotics.
The Feed Additive Market
The global animal feed additives market was valued at US$25.5 billion in 2015 and is projected to cross US$31.6 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of ~5% during the forecast period from 2015 to 2020. Globally some 32,000 feed mills produce approximately 1,000,000,000 tons of feed with the great majority of that volume manufactured by a small number of organizations that integrate milling of feed production with the raising of the animals. Avivagen’s OxC-beta product is competitively priced to be economically advantageous to livestock producers.
OxC-beta is cleared for marketing in the Philippines, Thailand and Taiwan and is manufactured at commercial scale under GMP conditions. Commercialization of the OxC-beta product is Avivagen’s immediate focus, to which end a sales and distribution agreement for the product has been signed with UNAHCO, the leading producer of pig and poultry feed in the Philippines and a joint venture has been established in China, the world’s single largest market for animal feed. Negotiations are current in other jurisdictions to promote the adoption of OxC-beta worldwide
The immune-stimulating and inflammatory-modulating attributes of OxC-beta have demonstrated broad utility in companion animals and, furthermore, have the prospect of being of direct therapeutic and prophylactic benefit in human health applications.
- Scientifically-established alternative to in-feed, antibiotics where antibiotics are being banned or discouraged by regulators or shunned by consumers when used as growth promoters in livestock and aquaculture
- Near-term, growing revenues
- Numerous milestones for success
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Avivagen offers its commercial partners scientifically backed, evidence-based products which are in high demand from multiple channels including veterinarians, farmers and producers, pet owners and retailers.
Avivagen maintains the highest manufacturing standards and is a proud member of the NASC, a self-regulating body, which protects and enhances the integrity of the animal health product industry.
Avivagen is actively collaborating with companies in Canada, the United States, Korea, Viet Nam, and Thailand, and we are seeking more relationships internationally.
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The forward-looking statements reflect the current expectations of Avivagen Inc. regarding future results or events. These forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations. Avivagen assumes no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those reflected in the forward-looking statements.