Seattle, WA, November 3, 2021 – Lumen Bioscience, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing biologic drugs for highly prevalent diseases, today announced a research collaboration with a top-three animal health company to develop orally delivered biologic drugs to reduce the use of antibiotics in animal husbandry.
The collaboration’s initial focus is on development of therapeutic proteins against enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC), a major cause of post-weaning diarrhea (also known as scours) in the commercial swine industry. Infection results in unnecessary suffering and mortality among the affected animals, and lost profits for farmers. Standard prevention practices involve the addition of broad-spectrum antibiotics in pig feed and extensive sanitation leading to concerns about anti-microbial resistance and consumer concerns about their possible appearance in the human food supply. There are currently no licensed vaccines available for ETEC scours.
Orally delivered protein therapeutics have been shown to be safe and effective in a wide variety of animal models of ETEC infection and even in humans. However, the high cost of fermentation-based manufacturing of protein therapeutics has limited the commercialization of these discoveries—particularly in ultra-large-volume applications like animal health. Lumen’s spirulina-based biomanufacturing platform opens the door to broader adoption of these technologies.
“Protein therapeutics have revolutionized human healthcare, but so far has been too costly and unscalable for animal health,” said Brian Finrow, Lumen’s co-founder and CEO. “But now that the Lumen platform makes protein therapeutics scalable for the first time, we’re excited the potential of this new technology to improve animal welfare, reduce antibiotics use, and improve consumer acceptance—all in one fell swoop.”