Providing solutions in diagnostics and reproduction - Veterinary Practice
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Providing solutions in diagnostics and reproduction

visits a new Shropshire-based firm which provides high-tech solutions in diagnostics and reproduction as well as veterinary bio-banking

“WE believe we are different both
in ideas and approach,” says Dr
Jack Behan, commercial director of
Bio-Genesys. “Our aim is to provide
veterinary practices with solutions,
particularly in diagnostics and

Dr Behan, who has a PhD in
reproductive physiology from the RVC,
is one of three directors of the
company which was incorporated last
May after a two-year gestation period.
He is an ART technician and scientist
who has owned
and operated AI
centres and
worked as
technical and
director with
various agri-businesses.

His co-directors are Paul Cooke, an
electrical and mechanical engineer who
specialises in production systems
management; and Craig Bates, who
handles the financial, administrative
and legal sides of the business.

The business is based in spacious
offices on the Eco Park, a 12-acre light
business estate on the outskirts of Ludlow in Shropshire, a picturesque
market town with about 11,000
inhabitants and a castle dating back to

Currently the company has its bio-
bank facility, with liquid nitrogen
storage tanks, along with a 30,000 sq.
ft. distribution centre, about a half-
hour drive away but intends within the
next year or two to erect a new
building for this purpose on spare land
adjacent to its offices, in order to bring
everything together.

The company’s core competencies
are in assisted reproductive technology,
veterinary bio-banking and the
preparation of cryogenically stored
gametes; and the provision of
diagnostic solutions for the genomic
testing of both farm and companion

“Our business strategy is to
continually provide solutions to our
customers through a small, highly-
trained distribution network, supplying
consumable products and diagnostic
services to animals in the disciplines of
reproduction, neonate, nutrition and
hygiene,” says Dr Behan.

Diagnostic solutions

“We utilise veterinary bio-banking,
storing gametes from different canine
breeds. We also know the cattle, pig
and horse industries very well; and we
are making tests available to use on
farms with cattle and horses.

“In addition, through our
veterinary liaison service, we are
providing diagnostic solutions to enable pathogenic
testing of biological

Paul Cooke, the
managing director, is
a man with a passion
for horses, describing
them as noble,
gracious and diverse
animals. “We are
proud,” he says, “of
our ability to provide
real solutions to
assist veterinary
practitioners and
owners through an
innovative range of diagnostic solutions packages.”

Bio-Genesys can have tests carried out on samples of hair, brain tissue,
blood, urine, semen, etc., and is looking
for veterinary practices willing to
franchise out its services, including
such things as the genomic analysis of

The company is able to check the
performance of daughters against their
mothers, for example, or give informed
decisions about the use of semen, and
is working towards routine screening of
animals for specific traits which will
result eventually in a different way of
talking about preventive medicine, says
Dr Behan.

DNA separation
and fragmentation are
among the services
offered and the
company believes it can
assist in producing
more biologically
efficient meat.

“Genomically we
can know the status of
an animal months
before its birth,” he

“With conditions such as hip
dysplasia, we believe the veterinary
profession and dog breeders have not
been looking at the right things. We
can identify species-specific genes and
with genomes we can minimise the risk
of their transfer and therefore improve
animal welfare In addition, where
breeds are reducing in numbers we can
store embryos and semen.”

Bio-Genesys has already
collaborated with the Rare Breeds
Survival Trust and used semen frozen
in the 1970s to “recover” a pure-bred
Essex boar. To date the company has
carried out AI in over 20 species.

It has established links with the
Wellcome Trust and also with Illumina,
a global company that develops
innovative array-based solutions for
DNA, RNA and protein analysis,
which carries out the genome testing.

It has also established a partnership
with the RVC, where it has
commissioned a porcine media study;
has contracts with partners in Poland,
Spain, the Czech Republic and Ukraine
and is working on similar arrangements
in other parts of eastern Europe,
including Bulgaria; and has distribution agreements in Ireland and Turkey.

Another side of this rapidly expanding business is consumables: it
sells a huge range of products from
fridges for storing samples, to its own
designs of cardboard boxes for storing
AI kits and other equipment, along
with gloves and boots in all shapes and

Other products include cattle
insemination guns, plungers, tubes,
sheaths and semen straws; infusion tubes; products for processing semen;
breeding kits and
accessories, including
the Wrist-Scan
ultrasound pregnancy
detector for use in
swine; thermos bottles,
thermometers and
thaw boxes.

There are also
products for goat and
sheep insemination,
semen collection from
boars and a range of
poultry media for chickens, turkeys and ducks.
Among recent introductions to the firm’s catalogue is the Detect-a-bull
rub-off heat detection system.
Developed in New Zealand, it is
described as convenient, accurate and
reliable for use on farm.

The directors are all enthusiastic
supporters of various charities and Dr
Behan is currently in training to
complete a sponsored 24-hour, 125-
mile canoe trek along the river Severn
in aid of Help for Heroes.

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