ViAqua Therapeutics receives investment from Nutreco

Editor’s note: News of the Nutreco investment in ViAqua appeared in All About Feed, CTech, IntraFish (hereand here) (subscription), The Times of Israel, and Undercurrent News.

ViAqua Therapeutics announced that it completed an investment round (to be completed in two steps) led by Nutreco NuFrontiers, the strategic innovation and investment arm of Nutreco Investments B.V., a global leader in animal nutrition and aquafeed. Existing shareholders in ViAqua — Trendlines and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology — also participated in the round. Additionally, ViAqua signed a joint development and marketing agreement with Nutreco’s aquaculture division, Skretting, a leader in the manufacture and supply of aquaculture feeds. According to Nutreco, Skretting will work directly with ViAqua to deliver the solution to the market. Trendlines recently signed an agreement with Nutreco.

ViAqua's Shai Ufaz

ViAqua Therapeutics CEO Shai Ufaz starts his presentation at AquaVision, Stavanger, Norway, 11-13 June 2018.

ViAqua addresses the growing need for effective, affordable treatments to combat diseases in aquaculture. One of the major challenges facing the fast-growing aquaculture market is preventing and treating viral diseases. ViAqua’s particle-based platform, which is administered orally, disables viral infections that attack shrimp and other aquaculture species. The platform uses a proprietary formulation that is stable in the aquatic environment, can withstand barriers in the digestive system of the shrimp, and integrates the coated particles for delivery via feed.

ViAqua CEO and Co-Founder Shai Ufaz commented, “We are excited to have strategic investors of the caliber of Nutreco aboard and the strength of the joint agreement with Skretting. The funding is intended to complete development of our first product and support tests requirements for the registration stage. Nutreco and Skretting’s combined resources and rich knowledge of the aquafeed industry will provide ViAqua with an outstanding opportunity to develop technologies with the right fit for the market.”

Nutreco CEO Knut Nesse added, “Preventing and treating disease, particularly viral infections, is one of the biggest challenges facing the aquaculture industry today. Our investment in ViAqua fits with our strategy to strengthen our activities in providing health solutions to farmers. ViAqua’s knowledge of how to combat health challenges in shrimp coupled with our expertise on application through feed and our reach in shrimp markets around the world mean that together we can really begin to have an impact on aquaculture health.”

“We are excited to take this revolutionary feed technology another step forward towards a new era of improved aquaculture health management,” says ViAqua’s scientific co-founder Professor Avi Schroeder of the Department of Chemical Engineering, the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, which ranks among the top academic institutions globally.

Editor’s note: The following is part of the announcement released by Nutreco.

Nutreco invests in ViAqua to combat disease in the shrimp market

Nutreco has invested in ViAqua Therapeutics as part of its focus on combating disease in the aquaculture industry. ViAqua is developing the first orally-administered treatment for shrimp that improves resistance to viral diseases, including White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV), and prevents viral epidemics. Nutreco has taken a meaningful minority share that will conditionally grow over time.

The solution offered by ViAqua, which was founded in 2014, uses a proprietary particle to disable viral infections. In the future, ViAqua intends to expand to include more species, like other shellfish such as lobster and crab, and small fish.

The investment is in line with Nutreco’s mission of “Feeding the Future,” the company’s ambition to contribute to producing enough nutritious and high-quality food for a growing population in a sustainable way. … Nutreco’s aquaculture division Skretting will work directly with ViAqua to effectively deliver the solution to the market.

Read the full announcement from Nutreco.