Nutreco invests in Proteon Pharmaceuticals

Nutreco invests in Proteon Pharmaceuticals

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Deal aims to reduce the reliance on antibiotics within aquaculture and livestock farming

Proteon Pharmaceuticals has made an investment of EUR21 million (US$24.6 million) to accelerate commercialization of its products, which aim to reduce the reliance on antibiotics within aquaculture and livestock farming. Proteon Pharmaceuticals uses bacteriophages to reduce the need for antibiotics, improve on-farm performance and increase the sustainability of protein production.

The financing round was led by Nutreco, Aqua-Spark and PFR Life Science, a portfolio company of the Polish Development Fund (PFR). Other investors in the round included Montis Capital, Seventure Partners as well as a group of angel investors.

“The funds raised from investors will support the company’s efforts to reduce the use of antibiotics in livestock farming and to promote sustainable protein production and ultimately improve human health. We are proud that the potential of our company has attracted such a wide group of industry and financial investors who, like us, believe in the unique capabilities of bacteriophages,” said Jarosław Dastych, CEO of Proteon Pharmaceuticals.

Matthew Tebeau, COO of Proteon Pharmaceuticals added: “This investment increases our ability to make bacteriophages available to the global livestock and aquaculture markets, where they will increase the environmental sustainability of protein production as well as significantly reduce the need for antibiotics.”

Rob Koremans, Nutreco CEO said: “This investment underlines Nutreco’s commitment to our purpose of Feeding the Future and to the partnership between Proteon Pharmaceuticals and Nutreco’s aquaculture division Skretting. Together, Proteon Pharmaceuticals and Skretting are developing bacteriophage health products to support farmers in keeping their animals healthy without the use of antibiotics. Our investment is a great next step to deepen this ongoing relationship and to support Proteon Pharmaceuticals in this exciting phase in the company’s development.”

The company will use the funding to support a global product roll out and to support new product development. The investment will also help to further expand the capabilities of Proteon Pharmaceuticals’ microbiome platform technology. The platform will be developed through integration of artificial intelligence (AI) tools, high throughput screening and process automation, as well as expansion of production capacity.

Proteon Pharmaceuticals has developed bacteriophage cocktails that address Salmonella and Avian Pathogenic E. coli infections in poultry production as well as Pseudomonas and Aeromonas infection in aquaculture. The company’s products are registered and commercially available in selected markets throughout Southeast Asia, South America, and Africa. Proteon Pharmaceuticals’ product development pipeline includes solutions for Mastitis in dairy cows and prevention of AHPND in shrimp production. The products are built using of natural bacteriophages in cocktails that are precision designed using an AI-supported platform technology.