Novozymes acquires Pacific Vet Group-USA, Inc. to strengthen position in probiotics for animals

Pacific Vet Group-USA, Inc. develops microbial based technologies that improve the gut flora in poultry. Probiotics can reduce the need for antibiotics in animal farming.

Novozymes today announced the acquisition of Pacific Vet Group-USA, Inc. (PVG) for an undisclosed fee. Based in Arkansas, U.S., PVG develops and produces probiotics for animals. The company has significant know-how in probiotic applications for poultry, strong development expertise, a pipeline for the poultry hatchery segment and a smaller commercial product portfolio.

“PVG is a great fit with Novozymes as we continue to build our position as the leading innovation partner in probiotics for animals,” says Helle Warrer Poulsen, Vice President, Animal Health & Nutrition at Novozymes. “With PVG we will get access to a promising pipeline and early product concepts targeted at the hatchery segment in the U.S. The PVG team has strong ties to academia and industry, and brings experience in the development of probiotics for animals. They will provide Novozymes with valuable insights and expertise, and further strengthen our partnerships.”

Beneficial bacteria to reduce antibiotics
PVG has 23 employees, primarily in research and application development. The company is based in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and was founded in 2008 around technology developed by the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. Its current products are primarily sold in the U.S. The products are based on beneficial bacteria – mainly lactic acid bacteria – and work to improve gut health in poultry.

Probiotics are naturally occurring, live microbes that improve the gut flora of pigs, poultry and other animals. They improve health, food safety, animal growth and feed utilization, thereby providing a natural alternative to antibiotic growth promoters.

Novozymes first entered the probiotics-for-animals business in May 2015, when it announced a product development partnership with Adisseo.

The acquisition is not expected to impact Novozymes’ financial outlook for 2015.

What are probiotics?
Probiotics are naturally occurring live microbes added to feed to improve the gut flora of pigs, poultry and other animals. They improve animal growth and feed utilization and have associated health benefits, thereby providing a natural alternative to antibiotic growth promoters.

There are trillions of these beneficial bacteria living in the gut of both humans and animals. In fact, there are so many of them, they outnumber the cells in our body.

Besides the bacteria already living in the gut, you can supplement with extra probiotics to further strengthen your gut flora. People can get them from yogurts and as dietary supplements. For animals, they are usually added to the feed or drinking water.

Rising global consumption of meat and legislative and consumer-driven curbs on the use of antibiotics as growth promoters in animal farming have increased demand for alternatives such as probiotics.