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Promising new technology developed by microXpace and Lallemand Animal Nutrition ready to move to product development phase

Promising new technology developed by microXpace and Lallemand Animal Nutrition ready to move to product development phase

Unlocking the power of Alpha-Gal immunity to help mitigate parasitic infestation in fish and poultry

The collaboration between startup microXpace and Lallemand Animal Nutrition has reached a significant milestone as both partners prepare to enter the product development phase for the promising Alpha-Gal-based technology. The production of Alpha-Gal antibodies, triggered in response to microbiota expressing the Alpha-Gal glycan, has revealed to play a vital role in recognizing and binding pathogens’ surfaces. This powerful technology offers new possibilities to help maintain animal health through supporting resilience to infectious diseases affecting aquaculture and poultry production worldwide. The successful proof of concept stage of the microXpace-Lallemand partnership has led to the identification of a broad range of parasite targets, paving the way for the development of an Alpha-Gal-based product aimed at enhancing resilience against major parasitic diseases prevalent in the aquaculture and poultry farming industries.

Following on the heel of this success, the partners enter now a product development phase which entails production upscaling and further in vivo testing in target species. The collaboration demonstrates a seamless integration of cutting-edge technologies and animal nutrition expertise, forging a path towards pioneering nutritional health solutions to help address emergent fish and poultry parasite outbreaks worldwide.

From left to right: Dr Holzer, Dr Castex, Dr Cabezas-Cruz, Dr Palinauskas.

Dr. Palinauskas, CEO of microXpace, commented about the partrnership:

During the collaboration between microXpace and Lallemand, a striking alignment emerged in our shared objectives and mutual aspiration to pioneer innovative feed solutions. They had a specific interest in helping animals to get resilient vis-à-vis parasitic organisms, leveraging cutting-edge technologies. We, at microXpace have remarkable enthusiasm and scientific expertise in Alpha-Gal technology and innovative laboratory tool developments, while Lallemand showcases extensive proficiency in animal nutrition research and the utilization of state-of-the-art technologies for in-feed technology and marketing. This powerful combination synergistically established a solid foundation for a highly productive and successful alliance.

Dr. Cabezas-Cruz, CSO of microXpace, said:

As a member of the group of researchers who discovered the impact of Alpha-Gal immunity in fish and birds, witnessing our idea evolve into a real-world product with significant impact, supported by Lallemand's willingness, is absolutely thrilling.

Dr. Holzer, Chief aquaculture innovation officer of microXpace, added:

About 20% of the worldwide aquaculture production is lost due to infectious diseases. The industry is especially threatened by emerging parasitic diseases which are expanding due to climate change. Both marine and freshwater commercial finfish production will strongly benefit from the species-independent, broad range solution of Alpha-Gal immunity developed by the microXpace research team. Lallemand has been incredibly supportive during our joint developments and will enable efficient product development, targeted market access and product launch. Such collaborations are extremely proficient and highly desirable as they offer fast industrial solutions based on quality-assured research innovations.

Mathieu Castex, President and General Manager Lallemand Animal Nutrition, declared:

We are thrilled about this collaboration! The initial phase exceeded our expectations, delivering results faster than we had anticipated. During this phase, we successfully refined the product case, setting us up for the next steps of concrete product development and additional animal trials. We plan to conduct on-farm trials within the next 12 months. Securing larger scale production for the product marks a significant milestone in this project, and we are already on track to make it a reality.

Eric Leclercq, Aquaculture RnD manager and fish application manager at Lallemand Animal Nutrition, concluded:

Contributing to progressing such cutting-edge concept into innovative biotechnogical nutritional solutions is a real delight. As the need to increase parasite resilience remains a top-priority across farmed-fish and poultry globally, exploiting for the first time this key immune mechanism raise the prospect of a substantial contribution to health, welfare and performance in the field.

Audrey Sacy Poultry application manager at Lallemand Animal Nutrition, added:

In the current global context of poultry production, the search for novel sustainable tools to be used by producers to help mitigating parasitic infections such as coccidiosis is paramount. Lallemand is committed to propose the best array of specific microbial based solutions to address this burning issue and alpha gal immunology looks like a promising innovative avenue.

What is Alpha-Gal Immunology?

Alpha-Gal antibodies play a crucial role in recognizing and binding Alpha-Gal on the surface of pathogens. These antibodies can activate lysis of the targeted parasite and other pathogens. Thus, the stimulation of Alpha-Gal immunity by microbiota provides protection against a broad range of disease agents that express the Alpha-Gal glycan on their surface (e.g. .-Plasmodium sp., Mycobacterium sp., Borrelia sp., Trypanosoma sp. and more). The production of Alpha-Gal antibodies by the host is triggered in response to microbiota that express the Alpha-Gal glycan. This happens only in animal groups that do not produce Alpha-Gal themselves such as fish, birds and humans.

MicroXpace aims at harnessing the potential of Alpha-Gal immunity in fish and poultry species through the use of natural microbial-based solutions which are applied in-feed and enhance the immune response to a broad range of pathogens especially parasites. This powerful technology was patented by microXpace in 2021 in collaboration with INRAE and offers new possibilities for enhancing animal health. In turns, it helps animals being more resilient towards infectious diseases presentin aquaculture and poultry production worldwide.

More than a year ago, Lallemand and microXpace joined forces to further expand the potential of the technology and speed-up potential market launch. The collaboration successfully generated additional Proof of Concept, identified a broad range of parasite targets, and successfully tested the safety of the technology while refining product scope. The substantial progress made allows the collaborators to enter product development phase which entails production upscaling and further in vivo testing under controlled laboratory as well as industrial conditions.

This milestone marks an important step in the partnership, aiming towards bringing an Alpha-Gal-based product to the market, with the shared goal of enhancing resilence against major infectious diseases prevalent in the fish and poultry farming industries in support of animal health and welfare.

Published Mar 14, 2024 | Updated Mar 26, 2024

AquaculturePoultryResearch and Development