Forbes: Why animal health startups should be thinking about antibiotics

Forbes: Why animal health startups should be thinking about antibiotics

  • 11/01/2019

An article in Forbes explores, why more startups in animal health should develop novel antibiotics and why biotechnology innovation is needed.

For the animal health community, animal welfare is a big challenge. Only recently FDA banned the use of growth antibiotics and many experts saw it as a sign that antibiotics in general are to be avoided. Now, Michael Heimstetten, president and chief executive of TechAccel and managing partner of Covenant Animal Health Partners, explains why novel antibiotics are still needed in the field. According to him, antibiotics must  be only used when necessary, complemented by good management practices. And he pledges for innovation based on biotechnology. “The integration to improve results while reducing antibiotic use comes through a variety of novel biotechnologies, most focused on enhancing innate immunity”, he writes. 

In addition, he states that animal health innovation in general is on a tear and that many startups are currently focused on animal health. “The problem is that many of these innovations are in hardware, not biotech, where they are sorely needed”, Helmstetter reports and adds: “Sensors, robotic pet toys and automatic pig feeders, while helpful, will not fill the empty space left by the withdrawal of low-dose antibiotics. Only fundamental biotech innovations will provide a viable alternative to antibiotics use, and that means anything you can do to boost an animal’s immune system without antibiotics.”

The AMR conference will have one dedicated track on animal health innovation on Day 2, March 15.

You’ll find the full article of Michael Heimstetten in the Forbes Magazine here: