Anifera awarded seed funding for research from UK’s Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL)

Published Tuesday, 14th September 2021

Anifera awarded seed funding for research from UK’s Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock (CIEL)

• Funding will enable Anifera to investigate efficacy of their leading compound to enhance antibiotic treatment for bovine mastitis, a significant economic and welfare challenge for the global dairy industry

• Data will support development of a commercialisation plan for their leading compound, globally, with the goal of improving efficacy of older antibiotics and ultimately reducing overall antibiotic usage in livestock


London, UK, 14 September 2021 – Anifera, a company focused on developing adjunct therapy to improve the efficacy of antibiotics used in animal health, today announced that it has received seed funding from CIEL, the UK’s livestock innovation centre to help investigate the effectiveness of its leading compound as an adjunct therapy in bovine mastitis.

Mastitis refers to the inflammation of the mammary gland and udder tissue, which can damage milk-secreting tissues in affected cows. Rising prevalence globally and increasing pressure to limit the use of new-generation antibiotics has created the need for alternative approaches, including repurposing older and less effective antibiotics for use in livestock.

The objective of the study is to evaluate the ability of their leading compound to enhance antibiotic treatment for Staphylococcus aureus in bovine mastitis, a significant economic and animal welfare issue for global dairy farmers. Staphylococcus aureus is recognized worldwide to be one of the most prevalent pathogens causing intramammary infections in dairy cows1, displaying varied disease presentation and markedly low cure rates2.

Anifera will work with the Moredun Research Institute (MRI) in Midlothian, Scotland, which conducts world class scientific research to improve livestock health and welfare through the prevention and control of infectious disease. Results will be used to confirm efficacy already observed in a previous small-scale study and to further explore options for commercialisation of their leading compound to treat bovine mastitis.

Dr Tony Benitz, a member of Anifera’s Board, said: “The project backed by CIEL, thanks to the support of Innovate UK, will greatly assist in determining the benefit that our leading compound can bring to veterinarians and dairy farmers in terms of direct reduction of mastitis and related costs. It will also help us to establish the potential of our leading compound to enable the repurposing of older antibiotics, which may no longer be considered sufficiently effective.”

Dr Gwynneth Thomas, CEO of Anifera, commented: “The need to find innovative ways to increase the efficacy of currently-used antibiotics is becoming much more critical, with significant pressure to reduce or discontinue the use of many newer first-line therapies. We are grateful to CIEL and MRI for supporting this important study, which will allow us to move our leading compound closer to commercialisation as a more sustainable option for farmers, ultimately improving yields and quality and reducing unnecessary antibiotic use.” 

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For more information, please contact:

Beatrix Benz at media@anifera.com or +41 79 256 77 73

About Anifera

Anifera aims to be the leader in developing solutions for adjunct therapy with antibiotics; therefore, improving their efficacy and ultimately reducing their use in animals. Anifera’s technology consists of a family of small molecules which, acting through a novel mechanism of action, have been shown to increase the susceptibility of resistant strains of bacteria to antibiotics. With an initial focus on bovine mastitis, significant benefits are expected if the compounds produce a superior bacterial cure. The company was formed by Stonehaven Incubate and Agile Sciences in 2020. Website: Anifera

About CIEL (Centre for Innovation Excellence in Livestock)

CIEL is one of the UK’s four Agri-Tech Centres established as a key pillar of the government’s Agri-Tech strategy. CIEL works in partnership with 12 of the UK’s leading livestock research institutions and a network of industry members spanning the entire food supply chain, from pre-farmgate to retail. CIEL aims to use these collaborative partnerships to enhance and accelerate business-led innovation, as well as inspire and identify opportunities that could lead to the development of new products, services and techniques that can benefit the entire agrifood chain. CIEL has one of the world’s leading livestock research alliances, working with over 800 expert animal scientists. Over the past five years, CIEL, through support from Innovate UK and in collaboration with our research partners, has invested £70 million into innovative UK livestock research facilities.

Find our more: www.CIELivestock.co.uk

Twitter @CIELivestock1

About the Moredun Research Institute

Moredun Research Institute (MRI) conducts world class scientific research on the infectious diseases of livestock, caused by important viruses, bacteria and parasites. Working closely with farmers and vets Moredun Research Institute strives to improve livestock health and support sustainable agriculture through the development of diagnostic tests and the creation of novel vaccines to combat infectious disease. Moredun’s science also helps find solutions to other major challenges such as ensuring safe and sustainable food and water supplies; the consequences of a changing climate and conserving biodiversity. Website: MRI


1 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6024761/

2 https://bmcvetres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12917-020-02528-8


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