BOSTON, M.A., OCTOBER 22, 2020: On a global scale, antibiotic overuse and resulting antimicrobial resistance is creating an urgent need to identify alternative animal health solutions. Livestock production accounts for up to 80% of global antibiotic use, and to demonstrate the gravity of this problem, 100 countries have national action plans committed to fighting antimicrobial resistance. In a new report, “Beyond Antibiotics: The Future of Animal Health Alternatives,” Lux Research identifies seven alternatives to support the animal health industry.
The report outlines three main categories of antibiotic alternatives: eubiotics, targeted antimicrobial agents, and vaccines. The categories are further broken down into seven technologies aimed at improving animal health: probiotics, prebiotics, organic acids, phytogenics, bacteriophages, antimicrobial peptides, and vaccines.
“There is no single solution that will replace conventional antibiotics. Alternatives will primarily act as preventative strategies to reduce the use of antibiotics by the livestock industry,” says Lux Research Analyst and report author Joshua Haslun, Ph.D. “The unnecessary use of antibiotics has significantly contributed to antimicrobial resistance, which has become a global problem. These new solutions will be part of how we tackle this issue.”
Lux Research analyzes the seven alternatives across nine key metrics, bringing to light trade-offs that are critical to prioritizing development and achieving success. For instance, the interplay between characterizing the mode of action and ease of approval among eubiotic solutions translates to an early advantage for these alternatives compared to others.
“The use of eubiotics represents a near-term opportunity given the advanced states of technology readiness, scalability, ease of approval, and product cost,” explains Laura Krishfield, Research Associate at Lux and co-author of the report. “Alternatively, we believe that targeted antimicrobials like bacteriophage and antimicrobial peptides should be considered a long-term opportunity, as the current state of technological readiness can be unclear, and regulatory hurdles abound.”
Expect the demand for livestock antibiotic alternatives to grow, bringing with it additional funding. The added capital will translate to stronger clinical support, a clear differentiator among innovators moving forward, as well as the potential to link solutions into synbiotic products. Not all products are equally scalable, but by linking key characteristics – for instance, the scalability of probiotic fermentation – with the production and secretion of antimicrobial peptides, solutions can achieve increased scalability and cost reductions.
For more information, download the report’s executive summary.
- Executive Summary: Beyond Antibiotics: The Future of Animal Health Alternatives
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