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2.1 Million Investment Into Animal Health

02 August 2010

NEW ZEALAND - The Foundation is investing $2.1 million into New Zealand company Argenta Ltd to support the development of an improved device to administer multiple doses of drugs to sheep and cattle.

The device is expected to lower costs to farmers worldwide.

The investment by TechNZ, the Foundation’s business development programme, will help Argenta Ltd to commercialise a bolus (drug delivery device) that is fully degradable, unlike current commercial boluses with hardware components that remain in an animal’s stomach.

The improved bolus will also allow the controlled administration of multiple drugs for up to 100 days, and will be produced at a lower cost than current products.

The initial outcome of the TechNZ investment will be an anthelmintic (parasite-killing) sheep and cattle boluses, but the applications of the new technology could also extend to the delivery of greenhouse gas control products to ruminants. Richard Bentley, Foundation Group Manager, Manufacturing & High Growth Firms, says the investment will lead to increased revenues to New Zealand.

“New technology platforms lead to new jobs and intellectual property, and will allow Argenta Ltd to create products demanded by a ready market,” Mr Bentley says.

“The market size for animal pharmaceuticals targeting worm control alone is around US$4.5billion. You only have to look to cattle numbers in the target market countries for an idea of the opportunity here —there are 85 million cattle in Europe, 110 million in China and 280 million in India.”

Argenta Ltd Chief Executive Dr Doug Cleverly says a degradable bolus system that leaves no residue in the animal has strong appeal particularly in the European Union, one of the company’s target markets.

“The market impact here is huge. A degradable bolus that can deliver multiple drugs over 100 days appeals to farmers because of the increased animal health benefit, and because of the reduction of labour needed. This technology also fits perfectly with Argenta’s heavy investment into other programmes as part of a new focus on integrated pest management programmes, which are likely to become mandated going forward” Dr Cleverly says.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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