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Fast Acting Virus Control Strategies for Production Animal Diseases


The objective of the FACTs project is to sign a term sheet with investors for ViroVet, an emerging Belgian biotech company, aimed at developing and introducing a disruptive treatment for bovine viral diarrhoea (BVD) in beef cattle.
BVD is a globally endemic disease of cattle costing the industry billions of Euros every year in the form of increased mortality, decreased feed efficiency and increased susceptibility to secondary disease. Conventional BVD vaccines are unable to fully control the disease due to antigenic variability of the virus and inadequate host immune response to vaccination. BVD virus can infect calves in utero leading to persistently infected (PI) animals that are difficult to detect but that shed massive amounts of virus, resulting in continuous contamination of the herd. The product will initially be launched in the EU and US, with other large beef-producing markets, such as Brazil, also considered. It will be administered to cattle upon arrival at the feedlot or auction house, which is a time of high susceptibility to infection. The drug will prevent exposed animals from developing clinical disease and will reduce viral shedding by PI animals until they are identified and separated from the herd. The drug will be added to standard processing procedures to minimize labour time and cost.
The BVD project is in TRL-6 stage and is predicted to reach market in 6-8 years’ time with peak sales of €150 million in the EU and US alone. Key opinion leaders (KOLs) are supportive of the product and a number of investors have expressed their interest. In Phase I, ViroVet will conduct market research and consult with KOLs in Europe and in other major beef markets to ensure successful introduction of the product. A comparative analysis of regulatory requirements will assist in the refinement of the business plan that will minimize time to market and maximize rapid return on investment. Contracts with investors will be finalized and a term sheet will be signed.

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Net EU contribution
€ 50 000,00

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The organization defined itself as SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) at the time the Grant Agreement was signed.

Vlaams Gewest Prov. Vlaams-Brabant Arr. Leuven
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Total cost
€ 71 429,00