Benchmark Holdings To Take Part In Salmon Anaemia Research Study

LONDON (Alliance News) - Aquaculture health, nutrition, and genetics business Benchmark ...

Alliance News 7 December, 2017 | 11:07AM
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LONDON (Alliance News) - Aquaculture health, nutrition, and genetics business Benchmark Holdings PLC said on Thursday it is to take part in a study investigating resistance against infectious salmon anaemia.

The study, funded by a GBP500,000 industrial partnership award from the UK's Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council, will last three years and will investigate the possible use of gene editing technology to increase resistance against the disease.

The aim is to identify the genes involved in the infection of Atlantic salmon and make alterations to increase resistance, which could then be applied to produce anaemia resistant broodstock for farming.

Benchmark said anaemia in salmon has high mortality and causes significant economic loss to salmon farms worldwide, with no effective treatments and facilities with an outbreak must cull stock.

Project collaborators, Benchmark said, include the Roslin Institute, the University of Aberdeen, Norway's Institute of Marine Research, France's Insitut National de la Recherche Agronomique, and the UK's non-governmental Centre For Environment, Fisheries, and Aquaculture Science.

Chief Executive Malcolm Pye said: "Gene editing is a potentially powerful tool to combat disease in aquaculture and, with a team of world class geneticists, Benchmark is at the forefront of this research in line with our strategy of developing world class aquaculture health products."

"This is a very exciting time for gene editing with major breakthroughs in human health resulting from decades of research which augur well for animal health. We are delighted to be collaborating with leading institutions to use this novel technology to improve the health and welfare of farmed fish," Pye said.

Benchmark shares were up 1.9% Thursday at 53.50 pence per share.

By George Collard;

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Securities Mentioned in Article
Security Name Price Change (%) Morningstar
Benchmark Holdings PLC 58.50 GBX -1.68 -
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