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Using a neonatal immunostimulant to reduce mortality and increase productivity in poultry farms

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PROVICOL (Using a neonatal immunostimulant to reduce mortality and increase productivity in poultry farms)

Reporting period: 2016-03-01 to 2016-08-31

Context: Antibiotics in intensive breeding are commonly used in animals bred for food to promote growth and prevent infectious diseases. The US FDA estimates that 14.6 million kg of antibiotics were sold for use in animals; this is more than four times the antibiotics sold for human use. Intensive use of antibiotic actively generates antibiotic resistance that could have a huge impact on animal and human health. Concerns about increasing antibiotic resistance, led to the ban of antibiotics for growth promotion (AGPs) in the European Union in 2006.

Problems to be solved:
Social: Feed more people by improving breeding productivity.
Economic: Produce meat at a competitive price. (Mortality is an important cost driver)
Environmental: the massive use of antibiotics contributes to antibiotic resistance.

Objectives of the overall innovation project: In such a context, VitamFero, an innovative French SME, is aiming to develop a new approach to protect chickens against infectious diseases during their first weeks of life. The PROVICOL project aims to induce a strong innate immune response in young chickens in order to protect them against a large panel of infectious diseases.
Main outcomes: PROVICOL will substantially reduce mortality and morbidity rates in chicken breeding thereby improving the overall breeding production process. 2 - This will also lead to a substantial decrease in the use of antibiotics in breeding establishments.
PROVICOL addresses the Specific Challenge set out in the appeal for proposals under SFS-08-2015-1: Resource-efficient eco-innovative food production and processing by providing an innovative solution for a more sustainable (preventing resistance to antibiotics) and more competitive (decreased mortality) food production. This will increase the productivity of breeding and contribute to one of the major challenges of the 21st century, namely to produce more food while reducing the environmental impact. The objectives of the PROVICOL programme are in line with the scope of Phase 1.
Specific objectives of the feasibility study
During the feasibility part (6 months) of PROVICOL, we will focus on the study on technical matters (validation and optimisation of induced innate immune response) and on a business approach.
One objective of this task is to confirm that the inoculation of VitamFero’s s immunostimulant triggers an innate immune response (efficacy and safety) in newborn chicks able to protect chicks against infectious diseases and to determine the optimal dose and route of administration.
The second objective is to confirm the wider market opportunity for this product by conducting an economic feasibility study.

Work performed
• Efficacy of VitamFero’s immunostimulant:
The 2 efficacy studies performed in chicks confirm the ability of our immunostimulant to significantly decrease the severity of an experimental coccidiosis and salmonellosis infections. These results validate the preventive protection action of immunostimulant to prevent infectious deseases.
• Safety of Vitamfero’s immunostimulant:
During the 2 efficacy studies performed, no sign of local or systemic toxicity was observed confirming that our immunostimulant is well tolerated.
• Regulatory framework:
Results obtained from the market strategy study demonstrated that it is important for the Provicol program to submit a marketing authorization dossier based on one therapeutic indication/pathology and, after the approval, ask for a post-authorization in order to add other therapeutic indications.
• Market targeted:
The need of new prophylactic products that will help to decrease the use of anti-infectious drugs and more specifically antibiotics consumption is clearly a strong trend validated by breeders, vets and health authorities.
"The immunostimulant developed by VitamFero is perfectly in line with the current trend consisting in developing preventive approaches.
The Provicol programme offers a perfect symbiosis between animal and human health (""One Health"") by proposing an innovative solution to combat neonatal mortality in poultry farms and in this way is playing its part in some of the major challenges facing society such as adequate food supplies and antibiotic resistance.