Benchmark announces the success of its next generation sea lice treatment during its first commercial scale field trials
Benchmark (AIM: BMK), the aquaculture health, nutrition, and genetics business, is pleased to announce the results of its highly successful first commercial scale field trial of its next generation sea lice treatment in Norway.
- Treatment showed 100% efficacy against sea lice in the trial
- Breakthrough development for Benchmark and for the salmon industry
- Field trials to continue as part of regulatory process
- Estimated £40-50m peak sales potential for next generation sea lice treatment
- CleanTreat® system’s proven ability to deliver the treatment without ocean water contamination, underpins its potential for commercial deployment across wider applications
Sea lice treatment
In this first field trial, Benchmark’s total treatment solution showed 100% efficacy and no environmental impact due to our proprietary purification system, CleanTreat®, which removes any detectable traces of medicine from treatment water before it is discharged into the ocean.
Together, the new treatment and CleanTreat® are a ground breaking development for the salmon industry, as sea lice is one of the industry’s biggest disease challenges. In 2016 sea lice infestation resulted in a 5% contraction in the production of salmon in Norway, equivalent to 70,000 tons or an estimated $500m at current market prices (Source: Rabobank). There is a recognised lack of effective, environmentally and welfare friendly solutions in the market, and Benchmark’s new sea lice treatment and CleanTreat® have the potential to address this need. The Company believes that the product can achieve worldwide peak sales of £40-50m. Benchmark will continue field trials in key markets through 2018 and 2019.
CleanTreat® is Benchmark’s proprietary purification system, engineered to remove all medicinal components from the treatment water. Following purification by the CleanTreat®system, the water is tested to ensure no medicinal particles are detectable before the water is discharged back into the ocean.
The system is the first of its kind to be used in aquaculture and has applications beyond the Company’s sea lice treatment. Chemical based bath treatments that are released into the water are one of the biggest objections to the aquaculture industry and CleanTreat® works to solve this environmental challenge. The Company is exploring other applications and routes to market for this technology.