Biotechnology is technology that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for commercial application or benefit to humanity. This technology utilizes varied biomolecular and cellular procedures in order to develop products and technologies that ultimately assist in advancing human lives as well as the health of our planet. Biotechnology is an innovative, interdisciplinary field that impacts many different sectors, including agriculture, veterinary, medicine, pharmaceutical and fine chemicals production.
Animals are playing a growing role in the advancement of biotechnology, as well as increasingly benefiting from biotechnology. Animal biotechnology is a branch of biotechnology in which molecular biology techniques are used to genetically engineer (i.e. modify the genome of) animals in order to improve their suitability for agriculture, industrial, or pharmaceutical applications. Animal biotechnology includes all animals: livestock, poultry, fish, insects, companion animals and laboratory animals.
The Technology Sectors in the Animal Biotechnology Industry
Animal genomics: Genomics defines and characterizes the complete genetic makeup of an animal. By understanding the genomes of animals, we can better understand the basis for disease resistance, disease susceptibility, weight gain, and determinants of nutritional value. Animal biotechnology has been used to produce genetically modified animals that synthesize therapeutic proteins, have improved growth rates or are resistant to disease.
Animal cloning: Using somatic cell nuclear transfer, livestock breeders can create an exact genetic copy of an existing animal – essentially an identical twin. Cloning does not manipulate the animal’s genetic makeup nor change an animal’s DNA: it is simply another form of sophisticated assisted reproduction.
Transgenic animals: A transgenic animal is one which has had genetic material from another species added to its DNA. This breakthrough technology allows scientists to precisely transfer beneficial genes from one species to another
Advances in animal biotechnology have been facilitated by recent progress in sequencing animal genomes, gene expression and metabolic profiling of animal cells. More recently, genome editing technologies (Zinc Finger Nucleases, TALENS, and CRISPR-Cas systems) have opened up new opportunities to easily create genetic variations in animals that can improve their health and well-being, agricultural production, and protection against diseases.
Animal Biotechnology to Advance Human Health
Animals have been used for years to produce medicines for humans. Animal-made pharmaceuticals (AMPs) transform biotech animals into “factories” to produce therapeutic proteins in their milk, eggs, and blood, which can be used in the development of biopharmaceuticals. In addition, biotechnology can be used to produce human-compatible transplant organs, tissues and cells in pigs that can be vital to enhancing human health.
Biotechnology to Improve Animal Health
For decades, farmers have been improving livestock herds through enhanced animal husbandry practices and more modern technologies, such as artificial insemination, embryo transfer, in vitro fertilization, genetic mapping and cloning. Through biotechnology, farmers can enhance breeding, resulting in healthier herds.
Additionally, the animal health industry has developed treatments that can prevent and treat disease. New vaccines, diagnostic tests and practices can help farmers treat animal diseases, while reducing food borne pathogens at the farm level.
Biotechnology to Develop More Nutritious Food
Improved animal health conditions from vaccines, medicines and diagnostic tests result in safer foods for consumers. In addition, food quality may be improved by introducing desirable traits through new genes into farm livestock and poultry. In the future, meat, milk and egg products from animals can be nutritionally enriched with the use of biotechnology.
Conservation of Environment and Animals
Biotechnology can help produce environmentally friendly animals, as well as conserve endangered species. Farm animals and their feeds have been improved through biotechnology to reduce animal wastes, minimizing the impact on the environment. Today’s reproductive and cloning techniques offer the possibility of preserving the genetics of endangered species. Genetic
studies of endangered animals can also result in increased genetic diversity which can result in healthier populations of species.
Animal biotechnology market
The global animal biotechnology market size was valued at USD 22.66 billion in 2021 and is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.2% from 2022 to 2030. Key growth drivers include the rising need to develop genetically modified therapeutic proteins providing better resistance to diseases, application in cancer treatment, and heightened preventive care for pets. Other aspects contributing to the industry growth comprise improved demand for the usage of animals in agriculture, meat, and animal-based products, growing awareness regarding animal health and welfare, expanding role of animals in the development of pharmaceuticals for humans, and growing animal adoption.
Rising cancer incidence in dogs is further fueling industry growth. As per the National Cancer Institute, nearly 6 million new cancer diagnoses are made in dogs every year. Moreover, the Veterinary Cancer Society projected that 1 in 4 dogs will develop cancer at some point, and almost 50% of dogs over age 10 will develop cancer. The obesity prevalence amongst the pet population is increasing all over the world. Owing to the fact that excess fat and body weight enhances the load on joints, overweightness is directly linked with osteoarthritis in dogs, which results in difficulty in movement. As per Petpedia. co, 30% of all dogs in the U.S. are obese. Therefore, these trends combined with the other factors are anticipated to positively drive the market.
The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has overburdened public health systems in many nations and emphasized the strong requirement for sustainable investment in health systems. The COVID-19 pandemic forced nearly everyone to work remotely. Medium- and small-sized businesses faced difficulties as there are restrictions on vet clinic visits due to the pandemic. Besides, in a globalized world that depends on supply chain logistics, the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures undertaken to curb its spread created bottlenecks. For instance, nations such as Romania have banned the export to Non-European Union nations, thus creating severe demand-supply problems in the animal feed sector. Moreover, the consumption of fish and meat has declined drastically throughout the globe, which, in turn, declined the demand for feed additives, thus impacting the market growth.
An increasing number of initiatives and campaigns are implemented by the government to promote animal health, which may increase the demand for animal health biotechnology in the coming years. For example, in January 2021, the governments of Canada and Ontario are providing up to $4 million through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership to offer farmers improved access to veterinary services when and where they require it. Likewise, TRPVB is a partnership initiative between the Department of Biotechnology, India, and TANUVAS-Chennai to enable a collaborative and coordinated approach to the transformation of technologies in the field of veterinary vaccines, biologicals, and diagnostics.
Innovations and recent advances in immunology, molecular biology, and genetic engineering have expanded the scope of animal health biotechnology. Breakthroughs in molecular marker technology advancements, farm animal genome sequencing, and other biotechnology applications will offer new possibilities for research to enhance and modernize the animal health industry. In December 2021, The Asian Development Bank has signed a contract to take a stake in Zenex Animal Health India Private Limited with an investment of up to $10 million, to expand Zenex’s manufacturing and distribution of quality animal health products. Asian Development Bank will assist Zenex’s investments in maintenance expenditure, working capital, and research and development of new products.
The growing initiative to educate on animal genetic testing is further anticipated to drive the market. For example, the Veterinary Genetics Laboratory at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine has released an updated and improved website along with numerous new tests for the veterinary community. Furthermore, the growing incidence of zoonotic diseases is increasing the demand for advanced diagnosis. Brazil had the second-largest cattle inventory in the world in 2021. In recent months, Zoonoses have dominated the headlines. After the occurrence of a highly contagious and virulent strain of avian flu in Asia and the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) discovery in the western U.S., tens of millions of birds have been killed and hundreds of cattle slaughtered.
Product Type Insights
The vaccines segment held the largest revenue share of over 25.0% in 2021. The growth of the vaccine segment is primarily attributed to the increasing burden of animal infections. These infections are naturally transmitted from animals to humans owing to contaminated food and water consumption or direct communication with infected humans or animals. Vaccination is an effective way to lower the disease burden in animals, and it plays an important role in preventive healthcare and disease control. Additionally, the increase in vaccine introductions for animals by the key market players is projected to drive the segment. In December 2021, Indian Immunologicals Ltd. introduced Goat Pox Vaccine (Raksha Goat Pox). Likewise, in May 2021, Boehringer Ingelheim India released its poultry vaccine VAXXITEK HVT+IBD. Such launches will lead to the increased adoption of vaccines, fueling segment growth.
The diagnostics tests segment is anticipated to witness exponential growth throughout the forecast period. The growth in this segment is attributed to factors, such as growing animal health expenditure, rising incidence of zoonotic diseases, increase in the number of veterinary practitioners, and increasing disposable income levels in developing territories. Besides, the overall market is determined by deeply understanding the demand for these products from veterinary hospitals, clinics, labs, etc., and increasing R&D investments from industry players. In August 2021, INDICAL BIOSCIENCE GmbH acquired the Check-Points, Dutch R&D-focused corporation. INDICAL is a global leader in the advancement of complete solutions for molecular and immunological veterinary testing.
The preventive care of animals segment held the largest revenue share of over 25.0% in 2021 due to the growing adoption of companion animals. The advent of pet parents as part of the pet humanization trend is a key revenue-generating trend in the market. Besides, an international survey by HABRI and Zoetis indicates a direct relationship between the human-animal bond and consistent veterinary care. The study including participants from the U.S., France, the U.K., Spain, Germany, Japan, Brazil, and China showed a clear global phenomenon of the improved bond between humans and pets, with 95% of respondents stating that they consider their pets to be a part of the family. Thus, such a human-animal bond advances better preventive care.
The drug development application is anticipated to witness exponential growth throughout the forecast period. Leveraging the monoclonal antibodies in animal health generated great potential to address unmet needs. For instance, in September 2021, Boehringer Ingelheim and Invetx announced that they have entered a collaboration agreement to develop innovative, species-specific monoclonal antibody biotherapeutics targeting a broad range of infections in the veterinary species, primarily focused on dogs and cats. This partnership will address Boehringer Ingelheim’s commitment to delivering unmet needs in the rapidly growing animal health biotechnology market.
Animal Type Insights
The livestock segment held the largest share of over 60.0% in 2021. Livestock is becoming increasingly vital in the growth of agriculture in developing nations. The contributions made by livestock to both agriculture and gross domestic product have risen in various nations. The demand for livestock products is a function of income in different parts of the world. The growing urban population and changes in diet and lifestyle are promoting growth in livestock production, thus contributing to the segment growth. Furthermore, government initiatives undertaken for livestock vaccinations promote market growth.
For instance, in June 2022, Indonesia launched a countrywide livestock vaccination program as the number of cattle affected with foot and mouth disease surged to more than 151,000. In the livestock segment, cattle held the largest revenue share in 2021. The U.S. is home to about 93.8 million cattle and calves as of 2020. The companion animal type segment is likely to grow lucratively during the forecast period owing to an increase in the demand for efficient animal care and the pet-human bond owing to the associated health benefits. Banfield Pet Hospital, in January 2021, confirmed a huge boom in U.S. pet ownership, thus supporting the segment growth.
The veterinary hospitals and clinics segment held the largest revenue share of over 70.0% in 2021 and is anticipated to continue leading the market over the forecast period. The availability of a wide range of treatment and diagnostic options in veterinary hospitals and clinics is a high-impact rendering growth driver for this segment. An increase in the incidence of zoonotic diseases caused by globalization and climate changes is expected to drive the demand for diagnostic procedures, which is expected to drive the point-of-care testing/in-house testing segment in the coming years.
The others segment is expected to witness the fastest growth over the forecast period. Veterinary research institutes and universities are expected to grow at a lucrative rate over the forecast period. This can be attributed to the growing R&D funding to develop advanced diagnostic tools and therapeutically advanced vaccines and medicines. Research institutes are primarily responsible for the development of these diagnostics.
North America accounted for the largest revenue share of over 30.0% in 2021 owing to the high animal awareness levels and improved healthcare infrastructure. The presence of healthcare programs and a rise in the number of initiatives to promote animal health are factors anticipated to increase the growth potential in this region. Moreover, high R&D spending in the region is anticipated to boost market growth in North America. In October 2021, Zoetis Inc. expanded its manufacturing and development facility in Tullamore, Ireland, which substantially expanded its capacity for producing veterinary monoclonal antibodies.
The Asia Pacific market is expected to witness the fastest growth over the forecast period. The rise in middle-class households, increased disposable income, acceptance of pet animals, new product launches, and high demand for animal proteins are some of the key factors expected to boost the growth of the market in the region. In June 2022, India’s first COVID-19 vaccine Anocovax for animals unveiled. Besides Anocovac, the Agriculture Minister of India launched the ‘CAN-CoV-2 ELISA kit’ — specific nucleocapsid protein-based indirect ELISA kit — for antibody detection against SARS-CoV-2 in canines.
Key Companies & Market Share Insights
Major players observed growth during the pandemic despite the restriction and supply chain disruption. Consolidated revenues of Neogen Corporation were USD 418.2 million in fiscal 2020, an upsurge of 1.0% compared to 2019. Multinational companies are investing in increased production capacity, expanding sites in Asia and China; and building more partnerships. Small-to-medium size corporations view emerging nations with growing economies as high-potential markets.
The key players are involved in various strategies such as new product type developments, distribution agreements, and expansion strategies to improve their market penetration. For instance, in March 2022, Hester Biosciences Limited expanded into the Pet Care sector. Likewise, in August 2021, Elanco closed the acquisition of Kindred Biosciences. Additionally, in October 2021, Embark Veterinary, Inc., has released its DNA test for purebred dogs. The kit offers purebred owners exclusive, actionable health information to assist in pinpoint diagnostic, treatment plans, and monitoring that can easily be shared with a veterinarian.
Key Players include, Zoetis; Boehringer Ingelheim International GmbH; Biogénesis Bagó; Merck & Co., Inc.; Virbac; Elanco; Idexx Laboratories; Heska Corporation; Indian Immunologicals Ltd.; HESTER BIOSCIENCES LIMITED