This biotech startup is developing a vaccine for honeybees. Check out the 16-slide pitch deck Dalan Animal Health used to raise $3.5 million.
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- A biotech startup that is developing a vaccine for honeybees has just raised $3.55 million.
- Dalan Animal Health is awaiting regulatory approval before commercially launching in the US.
- Check out the 16-slide deck used to raise the fresh funds.
A startup that has created a vaccine to protect honeybees against American Foulbrood, a bacterial disease that threatens bee colonies worldwide, has raised $3.5 million in fresh funds.
Dalan Animal Health, founded in 2018 in Georgia, US, aims to ease beekeepers away from “unsustainable” treatments such as antibiotics.
While many beekeepers still use antibiotics to treat diseases in bees, this can end up in the honey that’s later sold to consumers. Dalan’s vaccine instead uses an inactive pathogen to treat the disease and has been patented in the US.
American Foulbrood is billed as “the most serious” disease for honeybee brood, as it is highly fatal. Entire bee colonies can be killed in a short space of time if it’s left untreated, and beekeepers usually isolate hives and use contact tracing to ensure that the disease is not spreading across colonies in different regions.
“Honeybees are key in the food supply chain and diseases are a growth limiting factor across livestock,” said cofounder and CEO Annette Kleiser.
“It’s an oral vaccine which we feed to the Queen Bee, and it’s passed into her ovaries and starts mounting an immune response for the whole colony,” she added.
George Washington University recently outlined in an academic study that insects have an immune system that’s similar to that of vertebrates. The startup said it was pioneering the first ever insect vaccine to counter antibiotics.
The startup has designed clinical trials fit for wild animals as bees can’t be kept in captivity, out of fear that the diseases they carry in captivity may spread to native populations, and followed the regulatory pathway used by animal vaccines.
“It’s a huge opportunity as it’s the first of its kind, so we have little competition,” Kleiser told Insider.
The startup is in the final stages of regulatory review for market authorization in the US, after which it will sell its vaccine to bee traders and beekeepers in the country.
“This is the first round where we have a VC at the table,” Kleiser said. “We didn’t fit into a specific space, so angels were really the driver because there was more motivation to do something good for the world.”
The round was led by At One Ventures, a San Francisco-based VC firm that invests in startups across sustainability, agriculture, and foodtech, including the likes of Colossal and Finless Foods, and Veterinary Angel Network for Entrepreneurs (VANE). This brings the total funding raised to $5.5 million.
With the fresh funds, the startup will gear up for its commercial launch, following its early customer experience trials.
Check out the 16-slide deck used to raise the fresh funds.