PBD Biotech’s novel Actiphage® testing technology was crowned winner of the Royal Dairy Innovation Award at Dairy-Tech 2019 (6 February 2019). The Royal Dairy Innovation trophy and certificate are awarded for research and development in the field of dairy farming. With the award going to the most practical, relevant product, which is likely to be the most significant innovation for the future of dairying.
Actiphage is an innovative new test for the rapid detection of bovine TB, Johne’s disease and other mycobacterial infections. It has the potential to expedite food safety checks on milk and dairy products; revolutionise livestock disease management; and ease the burden on farmers, the industry and wider public.
Receiving the award from HRH The Princess Royal, CEO of PBD Biotech Dr Berwyn Clarke said: “The dairy industry is known as an early-adopter of innovation, so we’re delighted Actiphage has been recognised amongst such a strong field of emerging tech and forward-thinking services.
Every year, Johne’s disease costs UK farmers and industry at least £13million and an increasing number of retailers are removing suppliers from their milk pool if they are not engaged in Johne’s disease testing. Again in the UK alone, bovine TB results in almost 44,000 cattle slaughtered annually and an estimated cost to the taxpayer of £100million.
PBD Biotech’s Actiphage fits into current animal health testing practices and is the only diagnostic able to detect live mycobacteria – differentiating between infection and vaccination – that delivers results within 6 hours.
Originally developed as a tool for diagnosis of human TB, Actiphage has been optimised and developed to provide enhanced sensitivity and specificity for use in blood or milk samples.
“Globally there is growing concern regarding the presence of live mycobacteria in milk that may have human health implications. This prestigious award is recognition of the opportunity this technology provides to ensure dairy products are free from these organisms as part of routine dairy quality control,” added Dr Clarke.
“We are seeing significant interest from dairy organisations throughout the world in Actiphage, and this award will significantly aid in transferring our technology into those global markets.”