Asia’s poultry producers could be among the beneficiaries of a new public-private partnership research program — ALTANT-ASIA — between Pfizer Animal Health, MSD Animal Health and leading scientists in The Netherlands, seeking to develop alternative strategies to protect farm animals from infectious diseases by minimizing the likelihood of inducing antibiotic resistance. 

The approximately US$10 million research program is being co-financed by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation in collaboration with Immuno Valley, a network and technology transfer organization, and Utrecht University, and is one of the largest of its kind.

The overall project is focused on delivering a platform of new class anti-infectives for livestock that will exhibit antimicrobial and immunomodulatory properties. All partners will closely collaborate to develop innovative anti-infectives based on newly identified small peptides as alternatives to antibiotics for animals. They will contribute to the research program by sharing knowledge, equipment and financial resources. 

“This opportunity recognizes the long-term need for new anti-infectives for the development of effective treatments for infectious animal diseases, while minimizing the impact on resistance in both human and animal pathogens," said Jeffrey L. Watts, director of anti-infectives Pfizer Animal Health. “Moreover, the funding of this initiative by the Dutch government represents an acknowledgement of the necessity of such programs and the need to responsibly partner with the industry to bring new therapies to market.”