Advanced studies into adjunct therapy in bovine mastitis are set to start.

The condition is a significant economic and animal welfare issue for global dairy farmers, and this study, by Anifera, will build on promising initial data. It follows a substantial boost from Stonehaven Incubate, which invests in new, innovative animal health companies and is a co-founder of Anifera.

Anifera is developing compounds which can improve the efficacy of antibiotics, with the goal of ultimately reducing their use in animals. Anifera’s small molecule compounds seek to potentiate the effects of the antibiotic through a unique mechanism of action which have been shown to increase the susceptibility of resistant strains of bacteria to antibiotics. With an initial focus on bovine mastitis, significant benefits are expected if the compounds produce a superior bacterial cure.

Dr Gwynneth Thomas, CEO of Anifera, commented: “We have seen very encouraging results in early studies focused on bovine mastitis, utilising our lead compound as an adjunct therapy to a commercial intramammary antibiotic. We look forward to moving ahead with additional development work aimed at further exploring improvements in the efficacy of existing antibiotics when used in combination with our compound, helping to advance sustainability in animal health. We are grateful for the continued commitment of Stonehaven Incubate as we seek to bring these potentially ground-breaking compounds to market as soon as possible.”

Dr Simon Wheeler, a member of Anifera’s Board, said: “Bovine mastitis is a huge economic challenge for the dairy industry, affecting the yield and quality of milk and impacting animal welfare. With increasing concerns and restrictions on the use of antibiotics in farm animals, Anifera’s innovative approach could help improve health and productivity for dairy farmers worldwide.”

Bovine mastitis is an inflammatory response of the udder tissue in the mammary gland caused by microorganisms that most often gain entry via the teat canal. It is widely considered to be the most common cause of economic loss in the dairy industry from disease due to reduced yield and lower milk quality. Overall, mastitis is estimated to cost the global dairy industry up to USD 32 billion annually1. Annual losses in the US alone are estimated at USD 2 billion2. Dairy farmers are expected to face additional challenges as greater restrictions are imposed on veterinary use of multiple antibiotics in major markets including Europe.

Jarne Elleholm, CEO of Stonehaven Incubate, added: “Anifera has the potential to pioneer new ways of treating bovine mastitis, offering immediate financial and welfare benefits to dairy farmers. We are committed to helping Anifera advance these important studies and drive innovation to improve the efficacy of antibiotics. We share their goal of ultimately reducing the usage of antibiotics in disease states across animal health where they are the first line of treatment.”

Anifera was formed by Stonehaven Incubate and Agile Sciences in 2020.