WARF: P120032US02

Vaccine to Improve Phosphate Retention in Farm Animals


Mark Cook, Elizabeth Bobeck, Kimberly Burgess

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) is seeking commercial partners interested in developing methods for reducing the costs and contamination associated with phosphate use and waste in animal agriculture production systems.
OVERVIEWTo promote growth, dietary phosphate is required to meet the animal’s dietary needs. UW–Madison researchers have focused on developing a novel technology that reduces both dietary needs and excretion of phosphate. This is important because dietary phosphate supplements can cost more than $1,000 per ton – a price that has tripled in 15 years and is expected to rise. Contamination of land and water by phosphate waste is a major concern also. The new technology can be used as an adjunct for current methods to improve phosphate bioavailability (i.e., phytase).

One of the key molecules instigating rapid phosphate excretion has been recently identified. Produced in bone cells, fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF-23) prevents the body from retaining phosphate. By targeting this molecule, waste and expense may dramatically be reduced.
THE INVENTIONUW–Madison researchers have developed a vaccine that induces an antibody against FGF-23 to reduce phosphate excretion in animals. The isolated polypeptide and carrier protein can be given directly as a vaccine to provoke an immune response and inhibit FGF-23. The generated antibodies also can be transferred maternally to offspring.
  • Treatment for poultry and other avians, swine, cattle, sheep and fish
  • Livestock diets require less phosphate.
  • Reduces supplements
  • Reduces waste
  • May lessen environmental contamination
  • Can be incorporated into standard vaccine regimens
STAGE OF DEVELOPMENTChicks with the antibodies have shown significant increases in body weight and bone ash despite a diet low in phosphate.
For More Information About the Inventors
Contact Information
For current licensing status, please contact Emily Bauer at or (608) 262-8638.
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