Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Ernie Fletcher Announces $1 Million Grant to Kentucky-Based Alltech
Grant will provide funding for company’s Center for Animal Nutrigenomics and Applied Animal Nutrition
FRANKFORT, KY – Showing a commitment to “advanced agriculture,” specifically in the field of nutrigenomics, Governor Ernie Fletcher and Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Gene Strong announced today the award of a $1 million grant to Alltech to assist in building its Center for Animal Nutrigenomics and Applied Animal Nutrition.
“Kentucky is proud to work in partnership with Alltech to build this world-class Center for Animal Nutrigenomics and Applied Animal Nutrition at the company’s headquarters in Nicholasville,”said Governor Fletcher. “The project, a part of Alltech’s ongoing efforts to expand its research and product development activities, will create many new high-tech jobs in Kentucky.”
Alltech, a global animal health company based in Nicholasville, will build the center at its world headquarters on the Nicholasville campus as part of its existing 10,000 square foot research facility. The grant is expected to create 40 new jobs in research and development over the next five years.
“The field of nutrigenomics, or the effect of diet on health, is one of the most exciting in science today,” explains Dr. Karl Dawson, Alltech’s director for worldwide research. “Feeding the gene is the way forward. It will keep American agriculture and livestock production at the forefront, and this research is being done in Kentucky.”
The grant, designed to advance the development of Kentucky’s biotechnology sector, was approved by the Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority (KEDFA) and will be awarded through the Cabinet for Economic Development’s Department of Commercialization and Innovation.
“The state of Kentucky and Alltech have formed a strong alliance over the years to create jobs for Kentuckians and to produce products for use by farmers and animal producers around the globe,” said Secretary Strong. “Kentucky is pleased to partner with Alltech on an initiative that will give a significant boost to Kentucky’s biotechnology industry.”
“Alltech, though present in 85 countries around the world, is a Kentucky company,” states President and Founder Dr. Pearse Lyons. “We were founded in Kentucky, our corporate headquarters are in Kentucky, and with this grant, some of our most exciting research will take place in Kentucky. With nutrigenomics, we have already been able to put in place six provisional patents which should be converted into complete patents within the next two months.”
Alltech’s Center for Animal Nutrigenomics and Applied Animal Nutrition is expected to be the first of its kind in the world. The field of nutrigenomics began to take off in 2003 when the Human Genome Project completed its mapping of the human gene.
Pioneering nutrigenomics work at Alltech’s Biosciences Center has already revealed nutritional relationships that have, until now, remained hidden from nutritionists. It has shown that simple supplementation of diets with a single form of selenized yeast, known a Sel-Plex®, can beneficially influence the expression of genes associated with fertility and health problems, alter the aging process and address the physiological process that controls neurological disorders in humans and animals. In the future, this science promises to provide new diagnostic tools for rapidly defining the nutritional status of livestock and humans and for quickly altering diets in ways that will better meet unique individual needs. Alltech will actively cooperate with the University of Kentucky and a range of other universities to further explore the potential of nutrigenomics.
“Delivering on the Promise of Nutrigenomics” is the theme of Alltech’s 22nd International Feed Industry Symposium. The meeting is expected to draw 1,500 scientific minds from more than 60 countries around the world to Lexington, Kentucky, on April 23-26th.