PHOSPHAGENICS, a drug delivery technology company based in Australia, announced a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service (ARS) to develop and test products targeting the serious bacterial infection mastitis in dairy cows.
Under the agreement, Phosphagenics and ARS will formulate and evaluate products containing active ingredients in combination with the company's TPM delivery technology to enable superior absorption and efficacy. The products will include a formulation previously tested by Phosphagenics with good results, as well as a formulation containing a vitamin D derivative, the announcement said.
A preliminary study ARS conducted in 2012 demonstrated that directly infusing the vitamin D derivative into infected mammary gland quarters in dairy cows was able to significantly lower bacterial counts and clinical symptoms of mastitis. The study also showed that cows treated with the derivative exhibited superior milk production.
The trials will begin in mid-2013 and will be conducted in the U.S. by ARS. Researchers will examine the effects and efficacy of the TPM-formulated products delivered via intramammary infusion using a protocol developed by ARS.
Phosphagenics' proprietary TPM delivery technology enables the absorption of key active ingredients across a range of platforms, the announcement said.
Mastitis typically affects around 15% of the world's dairy herd at any given time. In the U.S. alone, economic losses resulting from this infection are estimated to be $2 billion per year.
"This is a significant problem for farmers worldwide as it affects milk quantity and quality," Phosphagenics chief executive officer Dr. Esra Ogru said. "The current standard of care for mastitis is antibiotic treatment, but there are widespread concerns globally (about) antibiotic-resistant bacteria. It is important to develop new therapeutics that bypass these problems and that are also effective."