Using Algae to Promote Animal Health

(DGIwire) – In the ongoing quest to improve animal health, one of the most promising avenues involves phytogenics: the use of plant-derived products in animal feed. A recent article in Animal Pharm spotlighted how algae can be harnessed to develop a pipeline of beneficial product candidates.

According to the magazine, significant strides have been made by ZIVO Bioscience, a biotech/agtech R&D company engaged in the commercialization of nutritional and medicinal products derived from proprietary algal strains. The company initially looked at phytogenics as a means of making health improvements in general and then studied  how it could possibly also use algae to optimize yield. The company has two tracks running in this development, reports Animal Pharm: the algae can be consumed as it is as a feed ingredient, while extracts can be isolated from the algae for further development.

“With regard to ZIVO’s algae culture, there are numerous avenues of development from this one platform,” says Andrew Dahl, President and CEO of ZIVO. “It can yield algal biomass, extracts and bioactive compounds—opening up an array of potential product candidates.”

As Animal Pharm notes, ZIVO’s next step was to begin looking at how it could isolate, characterize and synthesize these phytogenic substances, and the company has spent the last several years not only substantiating efficacy and mechanism of action but also looking at chemical structure.

The company recently began the final phase of a pre-pilot study for a bovine mastitis product candidate that is directly administered into a cow’s teat via a canula, reports the magazine. Additionally, ZIVO has gained positive results in recent experiments with poultry nutrition product concepts in collaboration with another firm.

As Dahl noted in the article, ZIVO’s mastitis candidate is being developed as a treatment, not a preventative. The trouble with mastitis, he noted, is it may or may not be cured with antibiotics, and inflammation will usually peak after administration of antibiotics and subside slowly. In the course of experimentation, the company found that in earlier arms of its efficacy study, dairy cows could begin to produce quality milk just four days after being treated, meaning they could be put back into production sooner. The company is looking at whether it could use the product as a standalone therapy to treat mastitis.

Meanwhile, noted Animal Pharm, the studies for ZIVO’s poultry product candidate have been examining the prospect of phytogenic ingredients as growth promoters. In poultry production, a percentage of the flock will not thrive as well as the rest and ZIVO is aiming to bring that low average up to improve yield as a whole.

“With so many promising avenues to explore, this is an exciting time for anyone working in the area of algae-based products for animals,” Dahl adds.

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