Health Enhancement Products Inc., a Keego Harbor-based biotech firm, has launched a study gauging the effectiveness of a treatment for mastitis, a health condition that affects up to 10 percent of the U.S. dairy cattle and is responsible for nearly $3 billion in lost milk production annually.
The scale of the study will need to be staggered to accommodate the anticipated logistical demands, with preliminary results expected in May, says Amy Steffek, director of research and development at Health Enhancement. “This is a significant undertaking with a considerable number of factors to control and observe,” Steffek says.
Dairy Experts, a California-based research organization, will conduct the field study, focusing on the effect of Health Enhancement’s bioactives, derived from algae, on an untreatable and contagious pathogen that can cause mastitis. Previous research suggests the compound could help alleviate inflammation and infection caused by the disease, preventing overuse of antibiotic treatments and limiting the loss of milk.
The study is a requirement of an agreement between Health Enhancement and Zoetis Inc., a global animal health company based in Florham Park, N.J.