Antiviral drug against BVD groundbreaking results

29 August 2023

Antiviral drug, biotechnology

Belgian biotechnology company ViroVet is developing an antiviral drug that acts against bovine viral diarrheavirus (BVDV). In a recent study conducted in the USA, cattle that received the BVD drug

showed lower virus titres, less symptoms and almost doubled in body weight gain compared to placebo animals.

The risk of BVD in feedlots depends on the introduction of infected animals, the overall immunity level of the cattle, stress factors, biosecurity measures, vaccination, and management practices. From compromised immune systems to decreased weight gain and increased susceptibility to secondary infections, the damage caused by BVD can lead to significant economic losses through reduced productivity, increased veterinary expenses, and potential mortality.

Under field-like BVDV transmission conditions, ViroVet demonstrated that its antiviral drug protects cattle from the consequences of BVDV infection by reducing BVDV viremia and virus shedding. The health status of the cattle improved, and their average daily weight gain increased significantly. This latest study confirmed that the benefits of using the antiviral drug in a feedlot setting clearly outweighs its cost.

Erwin Blomsma, CEO at ViroVet: “We’re really excited about the amazing results we’ve achieved with the BVDV antiviral drug. It’s clear that this development deserves strong support. We’re now entering the final phase of refining the formulation, and we’re also looking into possible partnerships to explore its potential even further.”

Nesya Goris, ViroVet’s CDO adds: “We had previously shown efficacy in experimental challenge studies, but to now demonstrate the potency of the BVDV antiviral drug in a typical feedlot setting is truly staggering. On top of that, the antiviral drug has the unique characteristic of being active against all types of BVDV. We look forward to developing it further.”

Daniel Thomson, DVM, professor of Beef Cattle Health and Welfare at Iowa State University and host of the national animal health television show “Doc Talk”, states: “BVD affects the feedlot operations’ bottom line. This new BVD drug has the potential to be a real gamechanger in the overall management of bovine respiratory disease.”

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