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FOLIUM Science achieves major commercial milestone

Member News
FOLIUM Food Science Limited FOLIUM Food Science Limited
The views expressed in this Member News article are the author's own and do not necessarily represent those of Agri-TechE.

Bristol based biotech business FOLIUM Science has completed an important milestone in its commercialisation phase as it continues to develop its ground-breaking technology platform that selectively removes unwanted bacteria from an animal’s gut.

This patented technology, called Guided Biotics®, will remove the need to use antibiotics in farmed animals. In a world where antimicrobial resistance is a global problem, where antibiotics are increasingly ineffective, unacceptable to consumers and restricted in use, FOLIUM Science’s revolutionary biotechnology helps to solve these problems by supporting positive animal nutrition and sustainable animal farming.

In collaboration with a leading multinational animal nutrition partner, FOLIUM Science can now build on promising in-vivo trial work and begin the process of bringing the first product to market.

Using the Guided Biotics® technology, trials in poultry flocks have shown incredibly promising results in reducing Salmonella. Food poisoning continues to be a problem across the world, with salmonellosis cases now increasing in many countries. Non-typhoidal salmonellosis is reported to cause over one million infections, 19,000 hospitalizations and over 400 deaths annually in the US, with some Salmonella strains showing antibiotic resistance.

Salmonella in the gut of a chicken is difficult to control, however unlike the action of antibiotics that will kill the good bacteria in the gut as well as the bad, Guided Biotics® selectively remove only the undesirable bacteria, leaving the beneficial bacteria intact. This supports a positive gut microbiome by allowing these beneficial bacteria to thrive.

Guided Biotics® technology represents a new category in animal feed additives and functional nutrition, that can directly benefit animal well-being by supporting a healthy microbiome.

The development of modelling techniques to quickly assess the effectiveness of new products is an innovative tool that allows the FOLIUM Science team to screen alternatives and identify the versions that are most likely to be successful. This creates an efficient product delivery process that can be taken forward into live trials.

Creating strong and focussed teams in each development area has also proved fruitful where technical specialists and support staff work closely together to share ideas and improve expertise across the business.

The new partnership and investment will enable FOLIUM Science to move to the next stage of commercialisation and not only develop the application of Guided Biotics® technology in poultry but continue the development of future programmes that include applications in cattle, swine and aquaculture. Development platforms in the pipeline also include products to modulate an animal’s microbiome to give the friendly bacteria beneficial advantages over pathogens in the gut.

FOLIUM Science CEO Ed Fuchs says “I am delighted to have achieved this breakthrough which was part of the strategic roadmap created 4 years ago when the business was founded.  Our goals and focus on the Guided Biotic Platform are fully aligned to the multinational partner’s animal nutrition business unit. This validates the market opportunity and unlocks well established capability to deliver Guided Biotic products in market. 

It is a credit to the FOLIUM Science team how they have evolved the Guided Biotic platform to application in the most challenging real-world environment.  We can also celebrate our own expansion of capacity in the move to new laboratory facilities at Science Creates in Bristol.  These facilities enable us to achieve our vision and expand into modulating gut microbiomes to reduce waste and improve productivity.

The founders are also excited to be working on similar technology for food processing, plant health and human dietary requirements.  These applications are a mere walk in the park!”   

The joint development agreement involves an undisclosed sum for a multi-year investment and commercialisation rights to BiomElix One®, a feed additive for poultry and other species that targets all Salmonella serotypes.

The benefits of working with a major multinational with a very strong research ethic  are clear. The collaboration between both teams of scientists on product development alongside shared contacts and expertise will bring advantages to all stakeholders. The manufacturing facilities and regulatory know-how offered by the partnership will also have a significant impact on the speed with which products can be brought to market and facilitate the advancement of new platforms.

The FOLIUM Science team of scientists will continue to operate from the dedicated research base in Bristol UK enabling the business to further expand the capabilities of Guided Biotics® across wide range of pathogenic, wastage and spoilage bacteria.