Live bacteria alternative to chemical intervention has significant poultry welfare implications
Ferryx, a Bristol-based biotech start-up today announced that it has signed a partnership to conduct the first ever UK poultry trials of its lead product, with AB Agri, a global agri-food business focussed on food security and sustainability.
AB Agri will conduct a trial of Ferryx FX856, a live bacterial feed additive in broiler chickens, assessing its impact on health, welfare and productivity in farmed birds. If the trial is successful, AB Agri will begin work to develop FX856 into a commercial product. Ferryx is managing the manufacturing process and consulting throughout the live trial period.
FX856 is a live bacteria, which has been developed by University of Bristol spin-out Ferryx, that is proven to survive and thrive in the gut of an animal which is stressed, an area where many currently available probiotics fail. As the global agricultural sector continues to reduce and remove antibiotics and zinc oxide from animal feed, maintaining gut health can become more challenging and it is important that producers have alternative solutions.
AB Agri’s trials of FX856 aim to investigate its efficacy in poultry, after it has consistently demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects and has been shown to mitigate the effects of stress on the GI system in other species. If successful, the product is expected to reduce incidence and severity of episodes of poor gut health, improving health and welfare of animals and improving efficiency and productivity.
Dr Jennifer Bailey, CEO at Ferryx commented, “We are pleased to be partnering with AB Agri on this hugely exciting project. The company has a great reputation for leading global bio-tech innovation advances which have animal health and welfare at their core. They are the ideal partners for the first large-scale trial of our novel, stress-responsive bacterial product”.
“Continuing to look for the best technology to meet our customer’s needs is at the forefront of our objectives” says Dr Nell Masey O’Neill, AB Agri’s Innovation Director. “Collaboration is key to our innovation model and we are really excited to partner with the team at Ferryx to investigate this exciting new probiotic bacteria.”
Mike Bedford, R&D Director at AB Vista, AB Agri’s feed additive business adds, “Increasingly within animal nutrition, attention is being given not only to the nutrition provided directly to the animal, but to that of the gut microbiota due to the crucial role it plays in gut health and immune function. We have been developing our knowledge in this area for quite some time, and we see this partnership as enhancing that knowledge base to bring to the global animal nutrition industry”.
Ferryx is a University of Bristol spin-out biotech company which specialises in scientific innovation in treatment of inflammatory diseases. Formed by CEO Dr Jennifer Bailey and Tristan Cogan (CTO), Ferryx researches and produces live biotherapeutic products for human and veterinary use. Incorporated in 2019, the company was the 2020 runner up in the University of Bristol New Enterprise scheme funding awards, and the winners of the Techspark SPARKies ‘Good’ award
AB Agri manufactures animal feed, nutrition- and technology-based products and offers data services for the agri-food industry. It operates all along the food industry supply chain. It produces and supplies compound animal feed, feed additives, specialised feed ingredients and a range of value-added services to farmers, feed and food manufacturers, processors and retailers.