Zoono delivers an effective tool in response to growing African swine fever epidemic

African Swine Fever Zoono ASX ZNO Z71 Microbe Shield virus
Zoono’s Z71 product has proven its efficacy in lab testing against African swine fever.

Biotech company Zoono (ASX: ZNO) has announced that its proprietary microbe shield, ZOONO Z71, was found to be “extremely effective” in counteracting the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus.

In research conducted at the Wageningen Bio-Veterinary Research Department of Virology in Lelystad, Netherlands, researchers discovered that Zoono’s Z71 microbe shield inactivated the ASF virus with 99.99% efficiency without any toxic or detrimental effects.

As a company, Zoono is developing a suite of proven environmentally-friendly antimicrobial solutions that aim to eradicate germs and bacteria while avoiding the harmful effects of existing products such as chemicals and alcohol.

Zoono said its products have received numerous regulatory approvals and its technology claims are supported by independent testing conducted in laboratories worldwide.

The company says it uses purified deionised water combined with a special antimicrobial compound which it calls a “quaternary ammonium compound” – an antibacterial agent that is already common in products such as toothpaste, contact lens products, cosmetics and soaps.

The quaternary ammonium compound originates from natural sand although the process to create the final product is synthetic.

“Our trade secret lies in the technology behind the quaternary ammonium compound which enables Zoono to stay active and continue killing pathogens for long periods of times,” according to Zoono.

From the laboratory to market

Having obtained results from the Wageningen Bio-Veterinary Research Department of Virology, Zoono said that its product is on track to be deployed to reduce the prevalence of ASF around the world – a virus that is decimating pig populations in major swine consumptive regions such as China, Korea, Asia and Europe.

According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, around 25% of the global pig population is expected to die as a result of the ongoing epidemic of ASF.

The virus has been most destructive in China, home to the world’s largest pig population. Agencies tasked with mounting a response to ASF, which first originated in 2014, have had limited success in stopping its spread with the severity of the crisis pushing up global pork prices significantly in recent months – boosted by demand from China, where as many as 100 million pigs have died since ASF began to take its toll last year.

Last week, Zoono representatives attend the world’s first ASF conference in Nanjing, China with Zoono’s technology presented to public and private-sector officials.

“The latest test results, which continue Zoono’s practice of having efficacy tests completed by reputable, qualified and independent GLP Laboratories, confirm the results achieved using ZOONO Z71 microbe shield products in the field,” the company said.

In addition to results from Wageningen, Zoono is also conducting trials in pig pens in China in conjunction with several pig producers with Zoono claiming results so far have been “outstanding”.

The biotech company has reported that within the pens treated with its proprietary product, there have been no AFS virus infections or pig fatalities, compared to numerous infected and deceased pigs in the control pens over the same 21-day period.