ECO and The Pirbright Institute sign novel poultry biopharmaceutical development licensing deal

4 September 2019


ECO Animal Health Ltd and The Pirbright Institute sign novel poultry biopharmaceutical development licensing deal

ECO Animal Health Ltd (ECO), a wholly owned subsidiary of ECO Animal Health Group plc, is pleased to announce that it has entered into a worldwide exclusive research partnership with The Pirbright Institute, United Kingdom, to develop a novel biopharmaceutical to protect chickens from Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV).

The global poultry biologicals market is worth c. $2.3 billion with CAGR of 5 to 6 % predicted. The IBV segment is currently worth c. $190 million.

IBV is an acute, highly contagious viral respiratory disease of major economic importance in commercial chicken flocks throughout the world. The virus can also cause decreased egg production and poor egg quality in breeding birds and commercial layers. Coinfection with Mycoplasma and other bacteria can exacerbate the disease.

ECO has been working closely with the Pirbright Institute which is a world leading centre of excellence in research and surveillance of virus diseases of farm animals and viruses that spread from animals to humans. It receives strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and works to enhance capability to contain, control and eliminate these economically and medically important diseases through highly innovative fundamental and applied bioscience.

Professor Venugopal Nair, Head of Avian Viral Diseases at the Pirbright Institute, states:

“The novel approach, which will use a viral vector system expressing recombinant proteins, is expected to tackle the increasing diversity of the causative IBV strains and represents the application of innovative technologies for improved control of major avian diseases.”

Commenting Marc Loomes, CEO of ECO Animal Health Group plc, said:

“The development of this candidate biopharmaceutical represents a significant advance in the approach to control Infectious Bronchitis and would complement Aivlosin®, ECO’s flagship brand for the treatment of Mycoplasmas diseases, in poultry.”