After the recent collaboration of Novus International with biotechnology company Agrivida, Think Grain Think Feed connected with Dr. Vaibhav Nagpal, Novus vice president and chief commercial officer – Asia and Dr. Michael Raab, Agrivida president to further understand the partnership. Please read the excerpts below:
TGTF: Would you please share details about the recent collaboration of Novus International with innovative technology provider – Agrivida?
Dr Nagpal: Novus signed a strategic partnership agreement in December 2020 with the innovative crop biotech company Agrivida. The partnership agreement combines Novus’s experience in applied research, sales, and marketing with Agrivida’s unique technology platform, production capability and biotech expertise.
The focus of the partnership is in three areas:
o Development of new innovative gut health products through a joint R&D innovation pipeline
o Developing the market for Agrivida’s current GRAINZYME® feed additive products
o Developing the global supply chain for this new class of products
TGTF: Can you please update our readers about the status of the collaboration? As the official release says products would be available in the US market but how long it can take to reach the Asian market?
Dr Raab: Agrivida’s products are currently only registered for sale in the U.S. The Novus team is actively engaged in identifying regulatory pathways globally and more information about regulatory and our international market launches will be coming soon.
TGTF: Dr. Nagpal, how this collaboration is going to support the present product portfolio of Novus?
Dr Nagpal: Novus announced our strategic plan, Project Density, in early 2020. The aim of that plan is to transform the company to become a leader in gut health solutions through nutrition, which includes new technologies. Agrivida’s current enzyme products complement Novus’s existing gut health solutions. Using a natural carrier, in this case, corn kernels, Agrivida has created a more sustainable and effective delivery system for feed additives. The unique technology platform has the potential to deliver new gut health products, such as antibodies or antimicrobials to control detrimental gut microbes or deliver novel proteins that promote beneficial microbial growth throughout the GI-tract.
TGTF: Dr Raab, please tell us more about Agrivida.
Dr Raab: The company was founded by scientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who were focused on improving the manufacture and use of enzymes in a completely new way. Our innovative technology developments have earned several research grants from both the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation, and several state agencies.
Agrivida’s flagship product, GRAINZYME® Phytase is a corn variety that produces a very high concentration of phytase in the grain. The concentrations are so high that only a few hundred grams are required to treat an entire ton of complete feed. Through years of research, Agrivida can now deliver enzyme feed additives inside corn grain, which circumvents fermentation, formulation, and coating while still delivering an effective phytase enzyme to the animal. Our nutritional products are packaged perfectly for the animals by nature.
TGTF: Would you please share details about the unique technology and how is it more beneficial to the end customers?
Dr Raab: Agrivida’s novel and innovative technology focuses on delivering additives in a completely unique and sustainable way – directly inside of the grain. This creates a more effective delivery mechanism that integrates directly into standard feed production processes, enabling lower costs and precision dosing for customers. Because it is delivered in the corn itself, it offsets a small amount of corn in the diet and can free up premix space or microbins that may otherwise be employed when adding competing additives. Further, because we rely on agricultural production that is already necessary for making feed, our technology alleviates external fermentation and formulation processes.
TGTF: What opportunities do you see in various markets and which species are targeted with this new product?
Dr Nagpal: Novus believes our customers value innovative, sustainable solutions to their challenges that also improve their cost position, and they will be eager to integrate a novel technology that delivers these advantages. The partnership is focused on developing novel feed additives using the sustainable and natural delivery system of corn for animal health through nutrition. Agrivida’s current enzyme portfolio can be used in all species with enzyme products for swine and poultry already available in the U.S. and enzyme products for ruminants available very soon. In the future, we see additional feed additives, including new enzymes and even animal health products, being delivered through this system. We look forward to bringing this technology to customers and having them join us on the journey to continue driving our industry into the future.