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Microbiome technology to bring novel additives for aquafeeds talked with BiomEdit that aims to bring livestock and aquaculture farmers innovative and novel feed additives developed through microbiome technology.

Aaron Schacht
Aaron Schacht, CEO of BiomEdit
June 8, 2023

Nutreco recently entered into a long-term strategic research and commercial partnership with BiomEdit to bring livestock and aquaculture farmers innovative and novel feed additives developed through microbiome technology.

BiomEdit is a microbiome innovation company that was launched by Elanco Animal Health and Ginkgo Bioworks. In 2021, Elanco began exploring options for its microbiome-focused platform and pipeline to concentrate and focus more resources on its Pet Health pipeline.

“One of those options is the carve-out you see today in BiomEdit,” Aaron Schacht, CEO of BiomEdit, told “Elanco provided microbiome-related assets, including technology, an advanced pipeline and intellectual property. We also brought along the highly experienced and accomplished team of microbiome scientists at Elanco to continue their work at BiomEdit. Ginkgo Bioworks provided access to their industry-leading synthetic biology capabilities and cell programming platform to progress our R&D program.”

The platform

BiomEdit focuses on the discovery and development of animal health products that leverage microbiome science to improve animal health, animal protein production and livestock disease monitoring.

“BiomEdit’s platform is unique since we use high-throughput sequencing and data analytics to rapidly discover and screen novel beneficial bacteria, peptides and metabolites. We are fortunate to have a robust pipeline, including a few projects in late stage,” Schacht explained.

But what makes these novel feed additives different from other widely used probiotics and strategies? “Our platform and analytics make all the difference. We’re able to isolate the beneficial microbes in the healthy target species from our extensive strain library to create products that break down the inflammation in the gut that causes issues and disease. This targeted approach is unique in the industry,” Schacht stated.

Applications and markets

In terms of species, the company will focus on poultry, swine, cattle, and warm- and cold-water aqua species, as well as companion animals. With the Nutreco partnership in place, it is able to target markets across the globe.

“We are pleased to find a partner that shares our vision for making a difference for customers, food security and sustainability with advanced microbiome-derived products. The long-term strategic research and commercial partnership will bring livestock and aquaculture producers innovative and truly novel feed additives developed through microbiome technology,” Schacht said.

The collaboration covers the discovery, development and commercialization of Biome-actives and will span all of Nutreco’s businesses including Skretting (aquafeed), Trouw Nutrition (livestock feed) and their feed additives brand, Selko.

The company sees great potential for Biome-actives in the aquafeeds market. In addition to the partnership with Nutreco, BiomEdit has a research collaboration with urban shrimp farmer, Atarraya.

“Together, we will use our analytics platform to investigate microbial changes to improve the cost-effectiveness, sustainability and production output of their fully contained land-based shrimp farming system, Shrimpbox. The research partnership will focus on nitrifying microbes and vibriosis control and will study how microbial communities change over time in a shrimp biofloc system to define the homeostasis of the ecosystem created for sustainable shrimp farming,” Schacht explained.

When producing new feed ingredients and additives, scale is always the big first issue. “This is where the partnership with Nutreco is key. As a leading animal nutrition company, they have the capabilities to ensure Biome-actives reach producers quickly,” Schacht said.

BiomEdit expects the launch its first Biome-Active feed additive product within the first quarter of 2024 as part of the Nutreco partnership, with a couple of other projects following fairly closely behind at a consistent launch cadence.