Montreal, QC – Prevetec Microbia announced a new $4.7 million financing round on March 12. Telesystem, Groupe Jafaco Gestion, and Desjardins-Innovatech came in with 36% of the funding while the remaining 64% was brought in by the Canadian venture capital fund, VVC, which focuses on animal health. The company develops and markets products that help prevent bacterial infections and improve performance in food animal production.
“We wish to thank our long-time shareholders for their support in this key phase of our Company’s commercial development and welcome our new investor. Our mission is to bring multiple innovative products to market in the coming years and collaborate efficiently with our key partners,” said Michel Fortin, President and CEO of Prevtec.
Prevtec was founded by Dr John M. Fairbrother and Dr Eric Nadeau as an offshoot company of the Faculté de medicine vétérinaire at the Université de Montréal, where Dr Fairbrother still works. The company strives to be a world leader in the development and commercialization of antibiotic alternatives that prevent bacterial infection and improve food animal performance.
Prevtec plans to use the most recent round of funding in the European certification process, in order to follow through with its strategic plan to have 4 of its products certified and on sale in 12 countries and on 3 continents by 2015.
Prevtec’s centerpiece is a live bacterial swine vaccine called Coliprotec®F4. It is an oral vaccine, pending market authorization, that the company says helps prevent post-weaning diarrhea in pigs caused by the E.coli bacteria. This is first vaccine of its kind fully developed and produced in Canada.
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In the last decade, post-weaning diarrhea in piglets has caused a multitude of problems. It delays growth, is harmful to performance and can cause a mortality rate of up to 20% in affected herds. This all can lead to high costs for swine producers, not least of which come in the form of antibiotic injections into the animals.
Prevtec’s vaccine can be administered orally and reduces stress on the animal. Also, when taking into account the fact that consumers and health professionals are ever more wary of the use of antibiotics in food production, the playing field may be ripe for Prevtec’s invention.
Photo courtesy of Telesystem.