Founded in 2020 as a spin-off from VBI in Belgium, Animab builds on a proprietary platform technology that enables efficient generation of monoclonal antibodies to prevent intestinal infections in farm animals. This new class of orally administered antibodies is designed to improve the health and performance of animals by targeting specific disease-causing pathogens.
The company says its biotechnology helps to optimize livestock health management through three key elements: ease of oral administration; minimizing the need for antibiotics; and by providing an alternative to zinc oxide (banned as of 2022 for environmental reasons).
The monoclonal antibody platform is based on cross-disciplinary research and expertise within VIB (Vlaams Instituut voor Biotechnologie), Ghent University and Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB).
Animab’s proprietary antibodies mimic secretory IgA, a type of natural antibodies passed on via the colostrum and milk. These antibodies have been further improved and tailored to target specific intestinal pathogens in livestock with speed and precision, without altering the healthy microbiome.
The first monoclonal antibody lead product is designed specifically for pig farming. According to the company post-weaning diarrhea caused by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) is an economically important disease in pig farming worldwide, with young piglets being very susceptible to this infection, resulting in a morbidity ranging between 25 to 50% in Europe. Animab’s lead product is intended to provide swine farmers with an alternative to antibiotics for the control of gastrointestinal pathogens.
Although the company will initially focus on ETEC protection in piglets, it intends to rapidly expand its pipeline with new product opportunities that target bacteria, viruses and host factors in livestock animals, spanning a range of gastrointestinal indications.
Animab is backed by a European investor consortium which has invested €3.4 million in a seed round, led by Seventure Partners and PMV, and with the participation of Agri Investment Fund, V-Bio Ventures and VIB.
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