Nutreco and BiomEdit announced on January 12 a ground-breaking, long-term strategic research and commercial partnership to bring livestock producers innovative and truly novel feed additives developed through microbiome technology.
The partnership aligns Nutreco Exploration (NutEx), Nutreco's team tasked with developing proprietary ultra-specialty ingredients to promote its purpose of "Feeding the Future", with animal health's most advanced microbiome biotech company, BiomEdit.
The collaboration covers the discovery, development and commercialisation of Biome-actives developed using BiomEdit's advanced microbiome science and bioinformatics platform. These novel feed additives address the health and sustainability challenges of today's animal producers, for aquaculture, poultry, swine and cattle.
In recent years, studies into the gut microbiome have led to a basic understanding of their role in human and animal health and in how foods are digested in the gastrointestinal tract. Influencing the gut microbiome – the microbes – what they produce and their environment, for example through food supplements or medicines, can have a major impact on human health – and, similarly, can impact the health, wellbeing and performance of animals.
"Saying that microbiome science has created a buzz in the last decade is an understatement," said Nutreco's chief science officer David Bravo. "However, practical applications of this scientific progress remain scarce. Instead of focusing on microbiome composition and how to affect it, at Nutreco, we believe that mining the microbiome to find microbial functions that will benefit the animal's physiology will unlock real sustainable progress for the welfare, health and productivity of farm animals.
"Our first NutEx strategic programme will focus on these Biome-actives. We share so much with BiomEdit's teams – scientific views, discovery and development processes, culture and approach – that it was only logical to engage in this major strategic partnership."
Aaron Schacht, chief executive officer of BiomEdit, said: "Microbiome science has the potential to address the complex health challenges and unmet needs our customers and their livestock face today. By leveraging BiomEdit's advanced microbiome discovery platform and bench of deep experts together with Nutreco's expertise and commercial deployment capabilities, we will launch novel feed additive products that address some of the most important problems in animal health, sustainability and food security. This broad strategic alliance with Nutreco is unique in our industry and plays to the strengths of both companies. Together, we will drive innovation and raise customer expectations for the impact of novel feed additives in livestock production systems."
This industry-influencing move combines the depth, breadth and experience of a leading animal nutrition company with a leading biotechnology R&D programme, Nutreco said.
"To help transform our industry and feed the growing global population, we are moving beyond just nutrition, supporting farmers in operating in a more sustainable way while also working across the supply chain to drive positive change in the way we source, produce and utilise feed ingredients," said Nutreco chief executive officer Fulco van Lede. "The partnership with BiomEdit fits perfectly into this longerterm strategy and underlines our commitment to the development of ultra-specialties.
"Today's announcement will benefit all of Nutreco's businesses: Skretting (aquaculture feed), and Trouw Nutrition (livestock feed) including, in particular, our feed additives brand, Selko."
BiomEdit, which was established in April 2022 in a carve out from Elanco Animal Health, is a venture-backed start up focused on the discovery and development of animal health products that leverage microbiome science to improve animal health, animal protein production and livestock disease monitoring. This is its first commercial partnership since it began with contributions of assets and technology from Elanco and Ginkgo Bioworks and a successful $40 million Series A funding round with Ferment, Viking Global Investors, Anterra Capital.
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