This story was showcased in our 2019/20 Annual Report

New Zealand probiotics company BioBrew Ltd is an innovator, helping redefine use of microbial supplements as a leading tool in animal and human health and wellbeing.

BioBrew received grant funding from AGMARDT for efficacy trials in 2017 and again in 2019. The trials enabled BioBrew to move quickly from the technical lab-bench validation of its products into working with live organisms.  This work has underscored new prospects in development of both animal and human health product lines, in-roads into new markets and allowed BioBrew to establish strategic relationships within the science community.

BioBrew co-founder Andre Prassinos says in particular the results of a trial looking at the effects of BioBrew technology in mice have been widely applicable across animal health and human health settings, providing concrete evidence of the benefits of its products in a model that is widely accepted in veterinary and medical circles.”

“AGMARDT allowed us to undertake independent research with senior scientists to validate our product’s efficacy and confirm usage/dosage parameters that are used daily by our farming customers.”

With the added credibility of scientific validation, Biobrew has been making progress with the export of their equine, pet, and calf products and even has a prospect in the Philippines for their as-yet undeployed poultry product. They are also working on a range of flavoured products for humans to bring their technology to a wider market in New Zealand and overseas. This will involve clinical trials in people which will again be heavily influenced by the mouse trial.

The trial results are being used as a foundation for further collaborations in production animal models. Specifically, BioBrew has undertaken a trial in lambs to determine the effect of the product on parasite loads. The early data was promising, though COVID-19 impacted the later stages of the experiment. Andre says they hope to repeat the experiment next year.

Meanwhile, BioBrew has continued to expand its strong foothold on the animal health sector with farmers who are continuing to benefit from the BioBrew approach to fresh probiotics, and new farmers joining every week. It is focused on consolidate the position of its CalfBrew product as the premier microbial tool for young ruminants in New Zealand, both through keeping a strong presence in dairy sector media and collaborative work with Dairy Women’s Network. Despite the impacts of COVID-19, BioBrew is seeing exports of its EquiBrew and PetBrew products continue to grow.

“Ultimately, AGMARDT support enabled us to achieve our goals and then some. The relationships developed through this project are going to have long-term significance for us. The opportunity to do new and interesting work with key people really sets us up as a credible partner for research and we will leverage that in the future for both human and animal health products.”

Biobrew is planning to launch new products in both the human health and animal health and they hope to redefine probiotics in both the animal health and human health sectors with the growth in sales of their existing products and the launch of new ones, here in New Zealand and overseas.

“AGMARDT fills a key space in the primary industry innovation ecosphere that is not found anywhere else in New Zealand. If you have a good idea that needs some credible technical work to get to the next level, I heartily suggest getting in touch with the good people at AGMARDT.  The application process and reporting requirements are easy to understand and helped us to refine our thinking and execution of the funded projects.”