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Funding will enable Thurston company to go international with bovine TB check


By Newsdesk Bury


New Anglia LEP chief executive Chris Starkie and PBD Biotech chief executive Dr Berwyn Clarke (2829666)
New Anglia LEP chief executive Chris Starkie and PBD Biotech chief executive Dr Berwyn Clarke (2829666)

A Thurston company which has created a system for detecting bovine TB and other bacterial diseases in animals has won funding to allow it to expand internationally.

PBD Biotech has received £125,000 from New Anglia Capital and this will enable it to expand its work into Canada.

The funding is part of £400,000 of investment the firm has won to enable it to grow its services and expand internationally.

PBD Biotech was set up 15 months ago by Berwyn Clarke, Dr Cath Rees and Dr Ben Swift and has developed a test which can detect bovine TB and Johne’s Disease through its Actiphage technology.

The company is currently working with Defra and hopes to be at the forefront of wiping out bovine TB which can decimate a herd of cattle.

The detection system has been sanctioned for use on a farm in Devon which has had ongoing problems with TB in its cattle. In the 12 months of its use it has cleared the disease.

The detection system is based on an original format developed for human tuberculosis at the University of Nottingham some 25 years ago. Updated it can now be applied to the agricultural and veterinary market.

Dr Clarke said that existing systems of detection often missed a quarter of all infected animals which lead to further infection in a herd but the Actiphage system was accurate and sensitive enough to pin point specific animals carrying the bacteria. He believes this could be the forerunner of ridding the country of the disease.



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