Genetics Genus collaborates with Beijing Capital Agribusiness
BCA has a leading Chinese animal protein genetics business and is owned by the Beijing Capital Agribusiness and Food Group (part of the Beijing Municipality), GLP-Youshan Fund and CITIC Agriculture, a division of one of the largest state-owned conglomerates in China.
Under the terms of the strategic collaboration, Genus will receive:
- upfront and milestone cash payments totalling $20 mill. subject to certain conditions being fulfilled;
- between $120-$160 mill. for the creation with BCA of a joint venture, including Genus's existing PIC operations in China, in several years' time after the required regulatory approval of PRRSv resistant pigs has been obtained in China; and
- intellectual property royalties from the joint venture on sales in China of PRRSv resistant pigs.
As China seeks to modernise its pork production, these efforts are significantly hindered by disease outbreaks. PRRSv is one of the most harmful pig diseases in China, together with African Swine Fever and Foot and Mouth Disease. PRRSv affects the majority of pigs in China and causes animal suffering, reproductive failure, increased mortality and reduced growth. There is currently no cure for PRRSv.
Genus has been able to breed pigs that demonstrate resistance to PRRSv. This breakthrough has been confirmed by several independent studies. Genus has the exclusive global rights to this technology and is working constructively with the US Food and Drug Administration to obtain regulatory approval in the US to commercialise PRRSv resistant pigs in a responsible way. PRRSv resistant pigs have great potential to improve animal well-being, the environmental sustainability of pig production, farm productivity and benefit consumers by significantly reducing the use of antibiotics.
The potential to reduce PRRSv will bring significant benefits to China, improving the reliability of the pork supply chain and helping to provide safe and high-quality pork to Chinese consumers, while benefiting pig farmers who will see a reduction in disease outbreaks. By minimising the prevalence of PRRSv, it could help accelerate the development of a sustainable Chinese pork industry and reduce government spending on disease control.