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ProcessBenefitsWhat is Germ Free?
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THE GERM-FREE PROCESS AND TECHNOLOGY

Stage 01: Start of the process to create Germ-Free Birds
Highest Quality SPF (Specific Pathogen Free) eggs are sourced globally and delivered to the Ovagen facility. The eggs are incubated in Ovagen's high biosecurity facilities. SPF chicks grow to become highest quality SPF birds with conventional gut flora.

Stage 02: 1st Generation GF
Ovagen uses SPF birds and collects egg under germ-free conditions using special isolator. The first generation of GF eggs require special conditions which are provided in an incubating & hatching isolator. Once hatched, the chicken is moved to a large GF mobile isolator (35-60 birds). From this stage onwards, GF eggs are laid naturally by hens.

Stage 03: 2nd Generation GF
Germ-Free eggs are hatched in isolators and the young GF chicks are then transferred to GF large lifecycle maintenance isolators for rearing and breeding. In these isolators, GF chicks grow into adults and breed naturally enabling the commercial production of GF eggs / products.

The second and subsequent generations of GF eggs are laid normally, are fully mature (do not require special incubation conditions) and ready for customer use. In the GF isolators, hens and cocks are housed on a traditional floor system. There is a high level of automation including automatic nest boxes, egg collection and feed and water delivery. Sterile air, feed and water are provided. Water is sterilised on-site and feed is sterilised by irradiation at Isotron in nearby Westport.

Stage 04: Large-scale GF egg production in GF rooms
Young Germ-Free chicks are transferred from isolators to one of eight large GF biosecure poultry rooms each holding ~4,000 birds.

To minimise human intervention the rooms use modern automated commercial poultry equipment including automatic nest boxes, and automatic feeders and drinkers. When staff enter the rooms they have to be in 'space suits' to maintain sterility.

Stage 05: Commercial sales
The Germ-Free eggs are triple-wrapped in special packaging and transported by plane to pharmaceutical companies in Europe and the US. The GF eggs are used for the manufacture of vaccines and therapeutic proteins for anti-cancer therapies.

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NEW FACILITIES

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New Facilities (2500msq)

  • First generation germ-free flocks
  • Isolators, Incubators
  • Laboratories
  • Pilot scale (25%) commercial production
  • R&D
  • Head Office

Lower Floor Provides:

  • SPF flocks
  • Large Germ-Free (GF) Isolators
  • GF suite for flock of 1000 birds
  • GF 'space' suits & decontamination showers
  • GF feed handling
  • GF egg collection & packaging

Upper Floor Provides:

  • SPF showers
  • Incubating/Hatching Isolators
  • Transport Isolators
  • Laboratories & QA
  • Head Offices
  • Site BMS & IT facilities

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