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ViAqua Therapeutics moves forward in addressing infections in shrimp aquaculture

Thursday, February 20, 2020

ViAqua Therapeutics achieved a number of key milestones in its quest to provide a solution to enhance shrimp health, thereby reducing disease and limiting losses in shrimp aquaculture.

Eighteen months ago, ViAqua and Skretting entered a collaboration to develop a functional feed product for the aquaculture market. The joint effort has yielded results necessary for the achievement of a second milestone, i.e. an efficient, cost-effective product.

ViAqua currently addresses one of the most prevalent and devastating issues that plagues the aquaculture industry – infectious disease. Disease accounts for over US$6B of revenue losses annually, significantly influencing the global shrimp production industry. Despite decades of prevalence, there has been no effective solution to some diseases.

The ViAqua product shields the shrimp from pathogenic viruses, not only improving the viability of that individual, but also reducing the potential release of viruses infecting other shrimp. This concept reduces the potential of an epidemic infection outbreak. Furthermore, the ViAqua particle is able to withstand the Skretting feed production process, opening the path for high volume production and product launch in 2021. The company is working toward scaling up production for sales.

CEO of ViAqua, Shai Ufaz, said that "this milestone was achieved with the funding raised in our previous round. We are now moving forward with a new funding round to commercialize our product. We are also developing additional solutions for shrimp and starting to adjust our platform to orally deliver solutions for fish and other aquatic species."

Skretting has unmatched experience in the field of functional nutrition for aquaculture. "We began working in this area in 1989 and launched the world's first fish health feed in 1992," said Charles McGurk, fish health manager at Skretting Aquaculture Research Centre. "We have been building on that R&D and advancing our expertise for almost 30 years since. The productive and open collaboration we have with ViAqua has made very good progress, and we see significant potential in the ViAqua technology."

 

Photo: ViAqua Therapeutics CEO, Shai Ufaz (right) and project manager, Maayan Oliva (left).

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