An Ag Tech Success Story in the Heart of America’s “Animal Health Corridor”

MS Biotec

Founded in 2010, MS Biotec is pioneering the use of the rumen-native bacteria Mega eTM to support rumen health at times of feed transition and stress while increasing profitability

In 2020, MS Biotec celebrates its 10th year in business — an ag-tech start-up success story in the heart of America’s cattle county and what is increasingly hailed as the country’s innovative “animal health corridor.” Founded in Wamego, Kansas, in 2010, MS Biotec has grown from a modest lab to a state-of-the-art R&D and production facility dedicated to harnessing the natural ability of Mega e to utilize lactic acid and maintain digestive health in cattle.

“Since we founded MS Biotec in 2010, our scientists have been researching the unique properties of Mega e,” explains CEO Leander van der Walt. “As we celebrate our 10th year in business, we’re thrilled to still be Kansas-based and to bring innovative new products to America’s beef and dairy producers.”

Van der Walt first learned of Megasphaera elsdenii in his home country of South Africa in 2003. Recognizing the potential of this rumen-native bacteria to support animal health and diet transitions, van der Walt and his South African colleagues patented the most effective strain of Mega e (Megasphaera elsdenii NCIMB 41125). A U.S. patent, FDA review, and advances in anaerobic processes and packaging followed, culminating in founding MS Biotec close to Kansas State University and the first commercial application at a U.S. feed yard in 2010.

Since, van der Walt has assembled a leading team — scientists, sales professionals, and operations and logistics experts — to pioneer the science of rumen health. MS Biotec grew through a combination of persistence and innovation and has brought the use of Mega e to scale due to breakthroughs in freeze-drying anaerobic bacteria. In 2020, MS Biotec launched two new products: LactiproFLX is a small, convenient capsule and LactiproNXT is a low volume drench.

“We’ve continued to lead the field because our products support rumen health and because we understand the demands beef and dairy producers are under in today’s marketplace,” van der Walt says. “Our products are designed for easy application and months-long shelf life of a live, viable rumen-native bacteria to help feedlot cattle, cows and calves maintain rumen health.”

About MS Biotec

MS Biotec is pioneering the use of the rumen-native bacteria Mega e to manage diet transitions while maintaining animal health. Our signature line of Lactipro® products harness the power of Megasphaera elsdenii NCIMB 41125, a superior strain of lactic acid-utilizing bacteria. Our PhD-led teams collaborate with leading universities and researchers to advance the science of rumen health and validate every product we bring to market. MS Biotec and its affiliates are the world’s only commercial providers of Mega e, and the company is a co-owner of the patent for Megasphaera elsdenii NCIMB 41125.

Company Timeline

  • 1993 A team in South Africa isolates the superior strain of Megasphaera elsdenii NCIMB 41125.
  • 1996 The team shelves the work due to lack of success with freeze drying and product development.
  • 2003 Leander van der Walt joins South African team addressing bovine acidosis and obtains South African patent for Mega e strain NCIMB 41125 and its uses, and for proliferation and delivery devices. Van der Walt begins work with Kansas State University to conduct foundational animal and microbiology work.
  • 2009 U.S. patent for Megasphaera elsdenii NCIMB 41125 is granted. MS Biotec is established in the U.S. Work begins on innovative anaerobic development in a specially designed facility close to Kansas State
  • University.
  • 2010 FDA review is received for Lactipro®. Anaerobic development and production facility opened in Wamego, Kansas, in the vicinity of leading scientists at Kansas State University. First generation of Lactipro introduced in U.S. and first commercial dose administered.
  • 2014 Expansion of production facility to second building in Wamego, Kansas.
  • 2015 2nd generation product, Lactipro advance®, introduced to the market.
  • 2016 Expansion of second building to accommodate more advanced quality control and R&D
  • 2017 Provisional patent for freeze drying filed.
  • 2018 Investment from Paine Schwartz Partners accelerates company’s growth. Patent application for use in poultry, equine, and silage.
  • 2020 MS Biotec celebrates 10th year in business with the release of innovative 3rd generation products LactiproFLX and LactiproNXT.

MS Biotec Q&A

What is LactiproFLX?

LactiproFLX® is a small, convenient capsule that contains an appropriate amount of the rumen-native bacteria, Mega e, for the specific animal type. One capsule per administration is all that is needed. LactiproFLX places a large number of viable Mega e into the rumen to support healthy function. LactiproFLX is available in 3 formulations: LactiproFLX Feedlot, LactiproFLX Dairy and LactiproFLX Calf.

What is LactiproNXT?

LactiproNXT® is an easy-to-use drench that can be used for feedlot cattle, cows, and calves. LactiproNXT comes in 2 package sizes: 200mL and 1,000 mL pouches. Each pouch contains freeze-dried bacteria, Mega e, separated from the rehydrant by a seal and features a clear bottom gusset that allows users to see inside the pouch. LactiproNXT places a large number of viable Mega e into the rumen to support healthy rumen function.

What is Mega e?

Mega e (Megasphaera elsdenii) is a rumen-native bacteria cattle rely on to digest high-energy diets. A naturally occurring anaerobic bacteria, Mega e has unique properties that make it essential to rumen health. While other rumen microorganisms consume amino acids and simple sugars first, Mega e prefers lactic acid as its energy source. As Mega e targets lactic acid in the rumen, it produces beneficial volatile fatty acids, such as butyric and propionic acids. Mega e is the primary and most prolific lactic acid utilizer. It contributes to the development and maintenance of a healthy rumen and enables pH regulation.

How does Mega e work?

With traditional feed transitions, naturally occurring Megasphaera elsdenii in the rumen takes weeks to reach populations required to effectively handle grain-based diets. As animals transition to higher-concentrate feed, lactic acid may accumulate in the rumen if Megasphaera elsdenii levels are not sufficient to handle the increased acidity. If lactic acid builds up, the rumen’s natural pH balance can become too acidic and health issues can result — from acidosis to rumen damage, weight loss to bloating, and even death. As the primary and most prolific lactic acid utilizer, Mega e works to improve rumen health, supports a healthy pH, and contributes to the growth of rumen papillae, which absorb nutrients.

Why does the strain of Mega e matter?

Scientists identified a superior strain of Mega e in cattle that is a prolific lactic acid utilizer. MS Biotec selected and patented this strain, Megasphaera elsdenii NCIMB 41125, because of its unique properties and its ability to develop and maintain a healthy rumen environment. Megasphaera elsdenii NCIMB 41125 grows rapidly in the rumen and has a short doubling time; is one of the hardiest Mega e strains; uses both forms of lactic acid as its preferred substrate but can use glucose and other carbohydrates if lactate levels are low; produces butyric acid; is resilient at a wide pH range; is compatible with ionophores and other feed additives, and demonstrates improvement in rumen fermentation in the presence of other bacterial DFM and yeast additives.

How does MS Biotec produce and package LactiproFLX and LactiproNXT?

Our state-of-the-art production facility in Wamego, Kansas, uses proprietary anaerobic production processes and packaging that enable us to freeze-dry Mega e in a live, suspended state. LactiproNXT and LactiproFLX offer a months-long shelf life from manufacturing date when stored in refrigeration.

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