MicroSynbiotiX startup team. (Photo: MicroSynbiotiX)
Cork’s startup develops seafood immunisation through feed
REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
Tuesday, April 17, 2018, 01:50 (GMT + 9)
Cork startup MicroSynbiotiX has developed a delivery platform for the oral immunisation of fish and shrimp stocks so as to help the aquaculture industry achieve a major breakthrough in the war against fish disease.
Using transgenic microalgae to deliver vaccines in fish feed, the platform has been designed to enable fish farms to reduce the use of antibiotics, Irish Examiner reported.
The startup CEO and co-founder Simon Porphy stated that overuse of antibiotics has been identified as a major threat to global health and points out that resistance to antibiotics has now been linked to 700,000 deaths a year.
Set up in 2016, MicroSynbiotiX is a synthetic biology company with patent pending technology which has been designed to provide an alternative to existing vaccination technology which involves the use of handheld injections of individual fish.
“This is labour intensive and expensive. The unique competitive advantage of MicroSynbiotiX’s technology is that the vaccines can be delivered through feed. As a result, this reduces the cost and improves compliance,” Porphy explains.
Currently working on a delivery platform for aquaculture, the company has future plans to develop the technology for use with livestock including pigs and poultry. But for now the focus is on aquaculture.
“This is the fastest growing food sector, worth over USD 200 billion and growing annually at 6.85 per cent. There is a demand for novel cost-effective oral delivery technology to replace handheld injections,” stressed Porphy.
MicroSynbiotiX, which has to date raised over EUR 1 million in funding, is currently carrying out trials of its delivery system and expects to be ready to begin licensing its technology to aquaculture companies by early 2019.