ANIMAL health company Boehringer Ingelheim’s Australian and New Zealand teams have launched a new injectable trace mineral product with the addition of B12, created through across-the-ditch collaboration to solve a long-standing formulation challenge.
Until now, many producers have given their cattle two separate injections – one with trace minerals and one with B12. The challenge for Boehringer R&D was to get both into one injectable, which Dr Mark Doherty, R&D portfolio manager for Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Australia, says was a great challenge for the development team.
“It’s always been possible to add B12 to a trace element injection, but keeping the B12 stable was the key problem,” he said.
“We recognised back in 2014 that there was a need for a two-in-one trace mineral and vitamin injection in the market, to save producers time while administering. Formulation development is only about the first 20pc of time taken to develop. Our team started working on the formulation, piloting different batches, making sure that the levels of each element were balanced, and most importantly, ensuring that it can remain stable for a long period of time on-shelf.
The development of the new product, Marks-Min, was a joint trans-Tasman effort, he said.
“In New Zealand, we have a fully resourced pharmaceutical lab with formulators, analysts and equipment. They partnered with our clinical team in Australia, who spent a lot of time across the ditch working through the process, and testing different formulations,” Dr Doherty said.
“Once we landed on our final product formulation, we also had to be sure it could be scaled up and manufactured on a level that we can then put on a shelf for sale.”
Dr Liz Pryor, Technical Services Veterinarian for Boehringer Animal Health Australia, said there was already strong market interest in a single, convenient and rapidly absorbed injection.
“Marks-Min represents a big step-up in convenience for producers who will literally halve the amount of work they need to do to get these supplements into their herd. We expect the product will be well-received by cattle producers right across the country, particularly in coastal zones where supplements are a priority for producers,” she said.
The trace minerals in Marks-Min are required for optimal health, production and fertility. The addition of B12 is vital in supporting energy production, and to help nurture the best response to trace mineral supplementation. The trace minerals and B12 work hand-in-hand in order to ensure that growth, reproduction and immune defence are functioning in cattle to the highest capacity, the company says.
“Optimising trace mineral and vitamin B12 levels at critical times like calving, mating and drying off, can have a positive impact on health, immune status and the reproductive capacity of livestock.
“Many producers don’t realise how important trace minerals are, and it’s quite a complex area so it can be a challenge to demonstrate their value – but the proof is in their use. We find that once they start using supplements, producers never give them up because they see real differences in their cattle’s productivity and performance,” Dr Pryor said.
Andrew Palmer, Head of Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health Australia, said the launch of Marks-Min signified the company’s continued commitment to fostering farm animal well-being.
“At Boehringer Ingelheim, our focus is on developing innovative products and services to contribute to farm animal well-being and meet the needs of our customers,” he said.
“Nutrition is critical to animal well-being so we’re excited to launch this product into the market and provide another choice for producers when it comes to selecting supplements for their herds.”
Marks-Min is available in 500 ml and 1 lite pack sizes, and is suitable for all cattle types.
Source: Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health