GREENFIELD, Ind. – Chris Salm, who co-founded Salm Partners LLC with his brothers and has been operating an innovative and industry-leading sausage processing facility in Denmark, Wisconsin since 2005, isn’t one to rest on his laurels. Armed with a Ph.D. in meat science and muscle biology, Salm more recently co-founded Ab E Discovery, a bio-functional feed technology company. As CEO, Salm’s company has partnered with Elanco Animal Health, a subsidiary of Eli Lilly and Co., to provide a gut-health solution for the poultry production industry that also shows promise in reducing antibiotic use in the production of other species. 

Using technology developed at the Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison by Mark Cook, Ph.D., and Jordan Sand, Ph.D., Elanco announced a global in-licensing agreement with AB E Discovery to fully develop and market what the researchers say improves poultry health and supports growth by utilizing an egg antibody that enhances the animals’ gut health when used as a feed component.  

One of the goals of the technology is to facilitate hens passing antibodies to offspring by adding egg proteins to the diets of young birds, reducing their vulnerability to pathogens, specifically Eimeria spp., which causes coccidiosis. According to the companies, the technology is in the final stages of development and is initially focused on poultry. The applications don’t stop with poultry. Elanco owns exclusive rights to use the technology for all animal species. 

“Coccidiosis is one of the most significant health challenges in poultry that, when not well controlled, can lead to intestinal health challenges that often require treatment with shared-class antibiotics,” according to Aaron Schacht, vice president of Elanco Research and Development. “This deal further signifies Elanco’s commitment to bring producers’ innovative alternatives to antibiotics, while preserving the health and welfare of the animal,” he said.

“Elanco’s combination of industry expertise and dedication to innovation present the perfect combination for elevating this technology to its full potential,” Ab E Discovery’s Salm said.

Elanco has a goal of delivering 25 antibiotic alternative projects to address challenges in livestock production by 2020. Reducing the need for shared?class antibiotics in livestock production that are critical to human medicine is another prominent goal.  

According to Elanco: “Identifying and developing new products and tools to manage the animal’s intestinal integrity and control infections for optimal animal health and well-being is of critical importance to Elanco. The company will continue to seek solutions that support intestinal integrity of broilers, helping to manage the animal’s microbiome, control infections, reduce gut inflammation and improve digestion.”