Pebble Labs and Virbac to develop aquaculture disease prevention solutions
March 16, 2020 - Pebble Labs USA Inc., a biotechnology company developing solutions that address some of the world's biggest challenges in agriculture and aquaculture with the mission of improving global food security, and Virbac (VIRP), the world's seventh largest veterinarian pharmaceutical group and a leading animal health player in aquaculture, announced today that the companies entered into agreements to co-develop and commercialize breakthrough solutions for disease prevention in aquaculture.
Demand for farmed aquaculture is expected to double worldwide by 2030, requiring a 60% growth in production. Approximately 50% of aquaculture crops are lost to disease, resulting in a $50B loss each year. Losses due to White Spot Syndrome Virus in farmed shrimp alone are estimated to reach up to $3.5B each year.
Currently the aquaculture industry relies heavily on probiotics, synthetic chemicals and antibiotics to fight the diseases which can be devastating to shrimp farms worldwide. The Pebble Labs Directed Biotics™ technology harnesses an animal's natural immunity with a bacteria and redirects it to suppress White Spot Syndrome Virus.
"Pebble Labs has the first sustainable technology to safely and effectively address the viral pathogens we are facing in large-scale aquaculture," said Pierre Henning, DVM, Director of Aquaculture Division, Virbac. "Working with Pebble Labs to share their solution with farmers is a high priority for our aquaculture division this year, and we are committed to moving this project along quickly."
Terms of the Joint Development Agreement include executing feasibility studies to validate Pebble Labs technology, solution development plans, regulatory clearance and approval, and discussion of future products and commercial applications in addition to treating White Spot Syndrome Virus in aquaculture.
"Pebble Labs is looking forward to seeing Directed Biotics technology in the pond this year," said David G. Morgan, President, Pebble Labs (CN). "This agreement with Virbac moves our revolutionary products toward the market which will reduce the need for antibiotics in food production and improve food security worldwide," said Morgan.