Feed solutions to replace antibiotics

Folium Science partnered with fish nutrition experts to test Guided Biotics® technology, a feed solution that targets specific pathogens and can replace antibiotics.

Feed solutions to replace antibiotics
July 20, 2020

Folium Science, a UK-based biotechnology company, partnered with experts in aquaculture health and scientists at Harper Adams University (HAU) to extend the application of its Guided Biotics® technology to the aquaculture industry.

Professor Simon Davies, an international expert in fish nutrition, will be working in a collaborative partnership with Folium Science to develop products that help solve the issues caused by bacterial diseases in fish. Davies will also join Folium Science’s bench of industrial experts, a group of experienced individuals from across the agri-tech industry who advise and support the development of Folium Science’s technology. Supporting Davies from HAU will be Tharangani Heath, senior lecturer in Aquaculture health and senior research scientist Nilantha Jayasuriya. The team will also be collaborating with Alex Wan of the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) at the Ryan Institute’s Carna Research Station for feeding trials with salmon.

The new AQUA Consortium will be targeting bacterial pathogens that can cause mortality rates of up to 30% in farmed salmon and trout. The initial focus will be on Aeromonas salmonicida with future work to develop multivalent products for multiple fish pathogens.

Folium Science CEO, Ed Fuchs, said that “the launch of our AQUA Consortium is an important step in our strategic development. The UK Aquaculture industry is valued at more than £550m annually and is growing rapidly. However, issues with bacterial pathogens are worldwide so we see huge commercial opportunities for the new products that the AQUA Consortium will develop.”

Although vaccines currently exist to help manage bacterial pathogens in farmed fish, outbreaks still occur, particularly at times of greater vulnerability such as in early life or when fish are transferred from freshwater to seawater. The emergence of new pathogens has resulted in an extensive use of antibiotics driving the emergence of antimicrobial resistance and concerns across the industry and wider health sector. Folium Science’s Guided Biotics® technology applied via the feed can target specific pathogens at times of increased vulnerability while vaccination is given time to provide protective immunity.

Davies said that “this is a great opportunity to contribute our expertise in fish nutrition and aquaculture health to a vibrant and commercially focused biotechnology business. Folium Science’s Guided Biotics® technology has already proved its efficacy in monogastric agriculture so we look forward to demonstrating the opportunities in aquaculture. Given the opportunities that this represents, we welcome engagement and discussions with potential commercial partners.”