Commercialising pen-side diagnostics for livestock disease

Livestock is key in providing a protein source to nations such as Africa and provide a crucial role in developing economies, 80% of farmland is being managed by small holding farms. As such, any outbreak of disease can have a catastrophic impact. Technology to detect disease causing microbes has been developed and Biotangents, using expertise in DNA manipulation, bringing straightforward, easy to use technology to diagnose infectious diseases of livestock. The solution will allow cost-effective, reliable, timely an effective intervention at point of care, reducing the burden of disease. Two such prominent diseases are Contagious Bovine and Caprine Pleuropneumonias (CBPP/CCPP) and have dire consequences causing suffering and mortality for cattle and goats in developing countries, with CBPP causing a mortality rate of 20-80% and costing c.£634 million a year and CCPP can have a mortality rate of 100% in naive herds with an estimated cost of £507 million every year.

Wellspring assisted with opportunities to test this new diagnostic technology, applying it to real world problems to support the translation into a workable prototype and the creation of a new diagnostic test to catch diseases on-farm, prior to the spread of the disease throughout the herd. A small-scale field trial of the prototype was also conducted, compared with other existing tests to inform the strategy for commercialisation, establish pricing structure (to understand the level of price sensitivity), the likelihood of market acceptance, understand the size and segmentation of the end user groups, who the competitors are, any local regulations, import duties, end user base and distribution channels and associated costs and logistics and whether there are any additional value add activities that can be undertaken.