Sojitz Corporation


Development and Commencement of Sales of Farm-raised Shrimp Virus Detection Kit

Apr. 25, 2003

TOKYO(Apri 25, 2003)--Nissho Iwai Corporation, in collaboration with environmental bio-venture company EnBioTec Laboratories Co., Ltd. (Head office: Koto-ku, Tokyo; President: Haruki Mizukami; hereafter called EnBio), has developed the 'SHRIMPLE' detection kit, which quickly and cost effectively detects destructive shrimp viruses for the worldwide shrimp culture industry, and has commenced the sales from April.

'SHRIMPLE' was jointly developed by Nissho Iwai and EnBio, based on a technology seed applying the research results of Professor Masatoshi Matsumura of Tsukuba University, with the cooperation, in the form of performance evaluation and advice, of a few authorities in and outside Japan, such as Professor Yukinori Takahashi of the National Fisheries University in Shimonoseki, an authority in the field of Shrimp Immunology, and university professors in Thailand. Conventionally, visual inspections based on experience or an expensive PCR, which require advanced technology and facilities, were used in order to detect shrimp viruses. One chief characteristic of 'SHRIMPLE' is that producers can easily perform on the spot detection of the WSSV (White Spot syndrome Virus), which virus causes the great damage to shrimp farms.

For virus detection, an immunochromatograph has been adopted which uses a monoclonal antibody as a shrimp virus reaction medium. SHRIMPLE is a test paper type detection kit, enabling easy detection on a filter paper in about 20 minutes, and producers can detect virus-infected shrimp during the latency period. By detecting viruses at an early stage of infection, damage can be minimized and output can be improved.

Shrimp culture is an important industry for the procurement of foreign currencies, which industry contributes to the securing of employment, and to the economic promotion of developing countries in Southeast Asia. High-density farming methods have been generalized and the spread of highly contagious viruses has happened due to underdeveloped pathogenic bacteria detection and disease prevention technologies. 'SHRIMPLE' meets such needs from the production site. For the sales of the kit, Nissho Iwai utilizes its chemical department's record of sales of chlorine disinfectant (high-test hypochlorite) to shrimp farms centered in Southeast Asia. The use of an existing trade area, and the repetitive promotion for and improvement of the kit since its development phase, resulted in the commencement of sales earlier than originally planned, and with unprecedented speed. Inquiries have been received since the product development phase, and sales contracts were signed at the time sales commenced. Nissho Iwai expects sales of 1 billion yen in three years, targeting Southeast Asia and South America.

Nissho Iwai, together with EnBio, is pursuing the commercialization of biotechnology, which is in the public limelight for its contribution to drug discovery, by applying it to other fields such as chemistry and the environment. The technology adopted for 'SHRIMPLE' can also be applied to the detection of pathogens during the cultivation of fish and shellfish, the detection of residual-density in agricultural products, and the detection of chemical substances that are problematic in Sick House Syndrome. By utilizing its worldwide network and information cultivated through business, Nissho Iwai continues to pursue commercialization of products that meet consumer needs. 

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