Neogen partners with IGS to enhance Igenity® Beef Profile

Neogen Corporation announced September 19th, 2019 that it has entered into a collaboration with International Genetic Solutions (IGS). The effort is focused on heightening genomic impact in the IGS platform, the only major multibreed beef genetic evaluation available, and at the same time greatly enhancing the research and development necessary to continue to improve Neogen’s Igenity® Beef Profile.

The Igenity Beef Profile is a leading global genetic testing product that helps producers of both straightbred and crossbred beef commercial cattle select their best animals for breeding programs. IGS delivers the most credible, objectively described, user-friendly and science-based genetic predictions to enhance the profitability of beef cattle producers who look to leverage the full power of expected progeny differences (EPDs).

“As part of this partnership, Neogen will benefit from access to information that will improve the Igenity Beef Profile, and IGS will endorse and promote the use of the product — an important ‘seal of approval’ from one of the largest genetic evaluation services in the world,” said Dr. Stewart Bauck, Neogen’s vice president of agrigenomics. “As the beef industry continues to face pressure from competing sources of protein, the Igenity Beef Profile is a valuable tool to help our customers remain efficient and profitable. Selecting the best animals for breeding programs is now absolutely critical. Each replacement heifer represents an investment of about $2,000 per head in cost of development and lost sale opportunity.”

The beef cattle sector is an important part of Neogen’s agrigenomics business, and the Igenity Beef Profile is a significant driver of the growth of the company’s business in North America and globally.

“This collaboration with IGS provides the research that will drive product improvement and development for a number of years, and will contribute to significant growth in revenue for this important cattle sector,” said Bauck. 

The Igenity Beef Profile currently consists of genetically scoring animals on 16 maternal, performance and carcass traits, in addition to determining the animal’s parentage. The profile is designed to help producers make confident decisions about heifers they retain and develop for their breeding herd. Some producers also use the profile in the production of high-value feeder calves and to score composite bulls.

Neogen recently enhanced its ability to serve the global animal genomics market by expanding its animal genomics laboratory services and bioinformatics to include locations in the United States, Scotland, Brazil, Canada, China and Australia. Neogen primarily serves the beef and dairy cattle, pig, sheep, poultry and companion animal markets with its genomics services.

"The mission of IGS is to leverage science, technology, and collaboration to improve the profitability of commercial cattle producers," stated Wade Shafer, Executive Vice President American Simmental Association. "Bringing Neogen in as an IGS partner is a natural extension of the mission of IGS.  This clearly positions serious, profit-focused beef producers to take advantage of the most credible and capable genetic awareness effort in the beef business."

"The experiment in cooperation and scientific decision making that is IGS is quickly approaching a decade in existence. In that time, the database has grown to be the largest genetic beef evaluation on the planet and the only major multi-breed database in existence. And it is constantly growing," said Chip Kemp, ASA Director. He continued, "Defining our success is simple. Do we provide more user-friendly, credible genetic tools than existed prior to the formation of IGS?"

Kemp also said, "The primary reasoning behind the IGS collaboration is to empower data hungry beef producers with credible genetic tools that meet them where they are while exposing them to an attainable path of even greater genetic knowledge should they chose. Strengthening our relationship with Neogen clearly aligns with this philosophy. The multi-breed nature of IGS allows us to strengthen the backbone of Neogen's Igenity Beef Profile. Neogen's customers desire a genomic panel that is effective across all mainstream breed types. With Neogen and IGS working together the Igenity platform will continue its position as the commercial genomic test of choice."

For more information about IGS, visit: https://internationalgeneticsolutions.com/.

Neogen Corporation develops and markets products dedicated to food and animal safety. The company’s Food Safety Division markets culture media and diagnostic test kits to detect foodborne bacteria, natural toxins, food allergens, drug residues, plant diseases and sanitation concerns. Neogen’s Animal Safety Division is a leader in the development of animal genomics along with the manufacturing and distribution of a variety of animal healthcare products, including diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, veterinary instruments, wound care and disinfectants.

Decker's Take 
This is an exciting announcement and will bring value to both organizations. Igenity and IGS now have the complete spectrum of genetic prediction approaches from one-time DNA tests to generations of pedigree and performance data. 

I want to provide a little context to this announcement.

1) Zoetis Inc. also has a multi-breed genomic prediction called PredicGEN, which predicts carcass traits. In December 2018, Zoetis announced that it had partnered with Leachman Cattle of Colorado and now has access to the Leachman data base, including from cooperating herds. Thus, we can expect to see new products from Zoetis focus on crossbred and multi-breed prediction.



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