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APC Microbiome Ireland is delighted to announce a new research collaboration with ImmuCell Corporation, a growing animal health company that develops, manufactures and markets scientifically-proven and practical products that improve the health and productivity of the dairy and beef cattle.

Overuse of antibiotics in the food chain is a critical issue for human health due to the rising number of antibiotic-resistant bacteria or “super bugs” causing potentially untreatable life-threatening infections in humans. To minimise the risks, regulators around the world are restricting the use of antibiotics in animals used in food production.

Microbiome and animal health is a strategic area of research for APC Microbiome Ireland, the largest and oldest microbiome research institute in the world. The APC has developed a large programme on fermentation end products including antimicrobials over the past 20 years. These include Thuricin CD, Formicin (featured on an Irish stamp), Lacticin and Nisin J, a new antimicrobial produced from staphylococcal bacteria found on human skin. In 2018, the APC was ranked first in the world by CWTS in Leiden as measured by publication citations in the area of antimicrobials.

The collaborative research project, led by Dr Des Field and Prof Paul Ross in the APC, will see ImmuCell Corporation benefit from APC’s capabilities and IP relevant to animal health, built up (in collaboration with Teagasc) over many years. These include patented microbiome-derived solutions for bovine mastitis, and know-how in terms of bioengineering antimicrobial peptides for increased efficacy.

“There is an urgent need for alternatives to antibiotics particularly in the field of animal healthcare where there is a major dependence” said Prof Paul Ross, APC Director. “APC Microbiome Ireland is delighted to be embarking on this exciting project with the knowledge-based Company Immucell that will see the development of natural antimicrobials (bacteriocins) for the treatment and prevention of mastitis – the most persistent disease of dairy cows.”

Utilizing our proprietary Nisin production strain, APC plans to apply their unique technology to enhance our nisin production and activity in targeted ways, as a second-generation mastitis product,” commented Michael F. Brigham, President and CEO. “We are thankful to enter into this forward-looking collaboration with APC, as we work to complete the FDA regulatory development process for Re-Tain™ and approach market launch.”