US based Algal Scientific, which uses algae fermentation to improve animal feed, is getting a Series B funding round of US$7-million to accelerate its growth. The investment is led by Formation 8 Partners of San Francisco, along with investment firms from Germany and Chicago.
With this new funding, Algal Scientific plans to dedicate even more resources to addressing and overcoming the global overuse of antibiotics, specifically of those used in the food supply. It's estimated that 80% of all antibiotics sold in the US are used on livestock and poultry, which increases the chances for bacteria in the environment to develop resistance to these critically important drugs. "There is no question that antibiotic resistance is a problem that is only going to get worse unless significant changes are made to the way we utilise antibiotics," says CEO Geoff Horst.
Algae based compound to ease use of antibiotics
The company created Algamune, a beta glucan compound processed from algae instead of yeast, stimulates the immune system in animals at lower cost and greatly reduces the need for antibiotics in animal feed. It can be introduced into the diets of livestock and poultry to naturally support the animals' immune systems without relying on antibiotics.
In January 2015, Algal moved to a larger plant in Plymouth, US a few months ago, with a fermentation tank 20 times the size of its initial 500-liter tank. "We've now reached commercial scale. We'll do five to 10 times more volume this year than last," Horst said, selling large quantities to poultry producers in the US.
"We want to be a natural alternative to antibiotics, and we really do have ambition to be a several-hundred-million-dollar company," he concluded.
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