Research projects on colostrum

Together with our sister company Biofiber Damino A/S we have a long tradition for reserach and development of nutrient products for newborn mammals based on whole bovine colostrum. Since 2013 we have also been part of an international research group based on Copenhagen University, where we are involved in clinical studies on the potential beneficial effects of using bovine colostrum as diet supplementation for preterm infants.


NEOCOL 2017-2022

NEOCOL is the succession project of NEOMUNE and focus directly on the development of a new bovine colostrum based diet supplements for preterm infant, especially neonatal infants. The aim is to develop a highly specialized nutritional product contributing to mature the intestinal epithelium in order to decrease multiple, potential diseases and improve organ functions.

Every year 15 million babies are born preterm that is at less than 37 weeks gestational age. Of these, some are born very preterm (≤ 33 weeks) and/or with a very low birth weight (≤ 1500g). For preterm infants, the gastrointestinal and immune systems are not fully developed and they may potentially suffer from severe diseases and/or functional complications. The degree decreasing with gestational age and birth weight. Preterm infants with very low gestational age and birth weight are thus in critically need of perinatal care.

Mother’s milk is the optimal diet for infants, but is often in limited supply related to preterm births as the production of milk is timed to match normal birth time. Several studies report that preterm infants with a very low gestational age and/or very low birth weight need a new fortified product as a replacement for the traditional infant formula or as a fortifier for pasteurized human donor milk. The latter having a lower content of bioactive ingredients compared to colostrum, as it is from later in lactation and have been processes. As such, the world face a need of a new diet supplement to stimulate body and intentional growth, and development of gastrointestinal and immune system in neonatal infants. This would help to catch up the technical knowledge to let preterm with very low gestational age and/or very low birth weight survive earlier and earlier outside the mothers protective atmosphere.

During the NEOMUNE project, bovine colostrum was reported as seemingly a very good choice as diet supplement to mothers own milk in preterm piglets representing preterm infants with very low gestational age and/or very low birth weight in relation to infant formula. Human donor milk was also found to be bettered, probably due to it being from later in lactation and having undergone pasteurization. The studies were performed in relation to suppression of dysfunctions and diseases, improvement of the state of the gut and immune system, and enhancement of the general health status. Bovine colostrum was also proved to be feasible as diet supplement for preterm infants in clinical pilot trials.

NEOCOL is financially supported by the Innovation Fund Denmark. Read more about NEOCOL on their web site.

Partners
Copenhagen University, Denmark
Rigshospitalet, Denmark
Odense University Hospital, Denmark
Biofiber Damino A/S, Denmark.

Steering Committee
Erik B. Madsen (SCIENCE-UCPH)
Birgit Nørrung (SUND-UCPH)
Arne Høst (OUH)
Gorm Greisen (RH)
Gunner Jacobsen (BD)
Thomas Mathiasen (Innovationsfonden)

Biofiber Damino A/S provides colostrum for the research studies in NEOCOL.


NEOMUNE 2013-2017
NEOMUNE is a research project that aims to improve clinical care of newborn infants, particular those born with developmental problems. The focus is on the effect of the first enteral uptake and the development of microbiota in the intestine and analyze of the possible effects on the development of the brain. The focus is also to clarify the effects on an optimal maturation of the intestine, both in relation the necrotizing enterocolitis and to create a better understanding of the complexity of preterm infants’ needs.

Right after birth, all newborns have to adapt to new food, feeding method and colonization of billions of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. The colonization counts the same number of bacteria whatever the feeding method, but the bacteria types found in the gut depends on the composition and dose regime of the feeding method used. These factors in digestive development is essentially for all newborn babies, but is even more crucial for preterm infants, especially those born at low gestational age and with a very low birth weight. Caesarean birth, high hygiene levels, antibiotics treatments and impropriate formula feeding may disturb the immune system maturation resulting in reduced growth, infections and impaired growth of key organs like brain, heart and gut. Such problems are often severe in preterm infants and babies with low birth weight. Much are still unknown about the consequences of such problems on the development of the infants.

Denmark is a pioneer in using pigs as animal model for humans. In NEOMUNE, studies on preterm piglets are used as models for preterm infants; to show how infections, digestion and brain function is affected by different bacteria, microflora, and the milk during the first few weeks of life. The model studies are linked to studies on preterm infants once the relevant factors has been identified.

NEOMUNE have analyzed several possibilities for optimizing diet supplements for preterm infants and found bovine colostrum as the most potential supplement and fortifier. Based on these results, the University of Copenhagen created a group of partners to go further along this way (see NEOCOL). During the time of NEOMUNE several publications on the use of bovine colostrum has been published in different peer-reviewed journals and magazines. The main observance is a remarkably good effect on preterm piglets fed bovine colostrum. Their mortality and illness decrease markedly, compared with preterm piglets fed on donor human milk or infant formula. Also, bovine colostrum was proved to be feasible as diet supplement for preterm infants in a clinical pilot study. Based on these observations, the same colostrum matrix is used in NEOCOL.

NEOMUNE creates an international research platform with focus on the health, development and diseases of preterm infants. The center is located on the Copenhagen University, Denmark, and consist of scientist from all over the world, infant hospitals and industrial partners. This creates a close relation and interaction between the relevant partners and secures the usefulness of the research in the work against diseases in preterm infants. Read more about NEOMUNE here: http://neomune.ku.dk/.

NEOMUNE is financially supported by the Innovation Fund Denmark. Read more about NEOMUNE on their web site

Biofiber Damino A/S is an industrial partner in NEOMUNE and provides bovine colostrum for the research. We contribute to the studies on:

Work Package 1 - Infants
   WP 1.2 Infection rates and associations with birth method, breast-feeding and antibiotics 
   WP 1.6 Early enteral feeding to support health 

Work Package 2 - Piglets studies for proof of concept 
   WP 2.3 Enteral feeding and its improvements on immunity and organ maturation


Partners
Copenhagen University, Denmark
Rigshospitalet, Denmark
Odense University Hospital, Denmark
Biofiber Damino A/S, Denmark
Arla Foods amba, Denmark
University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
Schenzhen Maternity and Child Health Hospital, China
University of Glessen, Deutschland
DTU, Denmark
Aarhus University, Denmark
Chr. Hansen A/S, Denmark
Fresenius Kabi, Denmark
Mead Johnson, USA
Danone, Denmark

Governing Board
Jacob Holm Nielsen (AFI)
Arne Høst (OUH)
Erik Bisgaard Madsen (SCIENCE-UCPH)

Biofiber Damino A/S supported the project by providing bovine colostrum for the research.


Bovine colostrum for gut protection and recovery 2008-2012
Project title: Gastrointestinal toxicity and inflammatory responses during treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
This PhD-project aimed to investigate the potential of bovine colostrum as an alternative to sow’s milk to preterm piglets suffering from formula-induced necrotizing enterocolitis. The project was later included in the NEOMUNE research portfolio.

Partners
H. C. Andersens Children's Hospital, Odense University Hospital, Denmark
Institute of Clinical Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark
Clinical and Experimental Nutrition Group, Department of Human Nutrition, University of Copenhagen
Biofiber Damino A/S, Denmark

Biofiber Damino A/S supported the project by providing bovine colostrum for the research.


Bovine colostrum for gut health in preterm pig models 2008-2012
Project title: The effect of bovine colostrum products on intestinal dysfunction and inflammation in a preterm pig model of necrotizing enterocolitis.
This PhD-project aimed to investigate the effects of bovine colostrum on the gastrointestinal health when provided as diet supplements to preterm piglets. This project is the first to investigate bovine colostrum as diet supplement for preterm infants, using preterm piglets as animal model. 

Partners
National Veterinary Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
Clinical and Experimental Nutrition Group, Department of Human Nutrition, University of Copenhagen
Biofiber Damino A/S, Denmark

Biofiber Damino A/S supported the project by providing bovine colostrum for the research.



Biodane Pharma encourages research in colostrum as clinical nutrition by supplying for trials. Contact us for more information.

Biodane Pharma A/S belongs to the BIODAN GROUP that also holds the company Biofiber Damino A/S, which develops and produce animal and human health products. Research cooperations are linked to Biodane Pharma A/S and the BIODAN GROUP through Biofiber Damino A/S.
Biodane Pharma A/S - CVR nr.: 28310102 - Staushedevej 10, DK-6621 Gesten, Denmark - Tlf. +45 75 555 777 - info@biodanepharma.com