SMART Cymru supports Diagnostig Ltd to develop an efficient cost effective method for detecting Johne’s disease, a wasting disease in cattle.
Johne’s disease is an untreatable chronic disease caused by Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis that infects over 30% of UK herds. This is an economic problem for farmers both in direct losses of animals and there is an increasing requirement for stock to be certified as disease free when entering the food chain.
Diagnostig was established in 2012 to exploit technology in the area of synthetic Mycolic Acids (MAs).
As a result of recent Industrial Research funding from SMART Cymru, Diagnostig were successful in identifying mixtures of synthetic MAs that perform well in diagnostic tests. This test now needs to be optimized and validated on a wider array of relevant veterinary samples. Their aim now is to develop a novel point of care (POC) diagnostic test for Johne’s disease in cattle and they are currently collecting and testing samples from a variety of geographical sources.
In the event of a successful outcome and subsequent commercialization, revenue from the tests, and synthesis / supply of the required mycolic acids would give the business a stable platform on which to base ongoing development and expansion. The increase in employment and other economic benefits associated with manufacturing will be located in Wales. It will enable farmers to better manage mycobacterial infections providing significant benefits to rural farming communities both in Wales and worldwide.