> Novobind


Using Nanobodies derived from llamas, NovoBind Livestock Therapeutics is developing novel biotherapeutics to combat rising resistance to anti-infectives.

In the world of agricultural biotechnology, NovoBind is a rapidly growing global superhero. Launched in 2016, the Vancouver-based company’s driving cause is to combat rising resistance to antibiotics, antivirals,
and antiparasitics. They do this by developing next-generation biologics (NBXs) derived from llamas that target and neutralize the specific bacteria, viruses, and parasites that cause intestinal ailments in livestock,
aquaculture, and pets.

For 50 years, daily doses of antibiotics have been added to poultry feed because the practice was found to promote growth rates. But this came with unintended consequences—namely, the growth of antibiotic-resistant pathogens and the build-up of undesirable residues in the environment. Recognition of these impacts has prompted many regulatory bodies to ban or limit the use of antibiotics in daily feed in recent years.

An alternative was clearly needed, and NovoBind answered the call. Their first project was a big one—finding a treatment for Salmonella, a pathogen which annually results in significant global losses for the food and poultry industry and which the World Health Organization pegs as one of four key enteric diseases that contribute to foodborne diarrhoeal illnesses in humans (nearly half of those among children).

NovoBind’s vision was to become a global leader in targeted antiinfectives. That meant they had to identify a biotherapeutic platform that was not only capable of tackling Salmonella, but that could eventually be expanded beyond poultry and antibiotics. They chose … llamas. More specifically, Nanobodies1 derived from llamas.

Since their discovery at Vrije Universiteit Brussel in 1989, Nanobodies have become an exciting tool in the pathogen-fighting arsenal of researchers and biotherapeutic developers. Essentially fragments of special antibodies only found in sharks and camelids (Llamas), Nanobodies are far smaller than conventional antibodies and thus capable of accessing small binding spaces. Highly scalable, Nanobodies provide a scaffold that can be engineered for a given application, making them uniquely suited to develop targeted anti-infectives.

Once ready, NovoBind decided to deliver their novel Salmonella NBXs to chickens via feed. This presented several advantages. Firstly, it was a cost-effective delivery method familiar to the poultry industry. More importantly, it kept the Nanobodies in the gastrointestinal tract, preventing any contamination of the meat that would eventually reach consumer markets. In addition, NovoBind’s NBXs could effectively target and neutralize harmful pathogens in the intestinal microbiome without disturbing the natural and vital flora.

Encouraged by the results, NovoBind quickly expanded its development pipeline, applying its expertise to combat Necrotic Enteritis and Coccidiosis. Having rounded out its arsenal against the top three infectious diseases affecting poultry, NovoBind began to address the Early Mortality and White Spot syndromes affecting aquaculture (particularly shrimp and crustaceans), and then branched beyond livestock to address Parvovirus, a deadly affliction of household cats and dogs

For NovoBind’s highly specialized Ecosystem of biochemists, microbiologists, veterinary pathologists, academics and business professionals, the possibilities are endless. Today, they tackle pathogens,
revolutionizing conventional treatments that imperil the health and welfare of livestock, aquaculture, and pets. Tomorrow, they may take on the diseases and pesticides affecting plant life and insects. Everyday, they roll out of bed with the recognition that we, humanity, are part of the natural system and that the impact of their work is social, economic, and widespread. And who wouldn’t want to wake up feeling like a superhero?

The term “ Nanobodies1 “ is a Trade Mark of Ablynx


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MNP tower 9th floor,Vancouver, BC,V6E 0C3, Canada

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