MD Chris Richards called the breakthrough a “step-change” for broader animal health outcomes in Australia.

National veterinary and animal health company Apiam (ASX:AXH) has announced an exciting development for the improvement of Australian of cattle health, with confirmation that it’s received regulatory approval for an important new custom vaccine.

Developed by Animal Consulting Enterprises (ACE Laboratories), the research breakthrough marks a first for the Australian cattle industry.

And it marks another step forward for Apiam’s standing as a leading diversified animal health company, as it continues to reap the benefits from its strategic acquisition of ACE back in 2019.


New frontier for cattle health

The ACE vaccine specifically targets Histophilus somni – a dangerous pathogen that emerges from common bacteria in the nasal cavity of cattle.

Once translocated to other parts of the body, it can cause vascular damage, blood infections (leading to neurological problems) and heart failure.

Today, Apiam announced that it’s received regulatory approval from the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) to manufacture the vaccine under permit, for use with cattle, sheep and goats.

Feedlot veterinarian Dr Tony Batterham, said the key value-add is that it will offer a preventative mechanism for Australian cattle feedlots – a much more efficient process than the deployment of antibiotics once the pathogen has already spread.

“We currently use antibiotics to treat affected animals, but with this new vaccine opportunity, we see a real opportunity to be able to reduce their use and improve antimicrobial stewardship programs, which is a key focus for our company,” Batterham said.

As a vet at some of Australia’s largest cattle feedlots, Batterham has seen first-hand how the Histophilus somni can “flare up” suddenly, leaving cattle proprietors forced to deliver resources to address the rapid spread of the pathogen, which if left unattended can cause severe disease and sometimes the death of an animal.



In addition, Batterham flagged further potential upside through the use of the newly-approved vaccine as part of a combination therapy with existing vaccines, resulting in an even strong preventative mechanism.

Batterham’s team is currently using a separate Pasturella vaccine, also recently developed by ACE Labs, on several of its cattle feedlots.

“These results have been extremely promising to date and by being able to have a single vaccine against both pathogens will provide the industry with a new unique solution to address these two emerging pathogens,” he said.

For Apiam MD Chris Richards, the latest research breakthrough is more validation of the company’s ACE Labs acquisition back in 2019.

Since acquiring the business, Apiam has rolled out three new vaccines across its existing vet network and the broader Australian market.

And the capacity of ACE Labs to develop and manufacture home-grown vaccines at its Bendigo facility gives Apiam a key competitive advantage in the market, he said – “especially when we are seeing antigenic drift on Australian farms as well as lack of effectiveness of some imported commercial vaccines”.

“In a step change for industry, we expect that this will result in even higher vaccine efficacy delivering better animal health outcomes,” Richards concluded.

This article was developed in collaboration with Apiam, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.