The Associated Press reports that U.S. pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Co. plans to work with India’s Gangagen Biotechnologies to develop a drug that uses benign viruses to kill the deadly E. coli bacteria in cattle.
Gangagen developed the drug and signed an agreement last week with Elanco Animal Health, Eli Lilly’s animal feed division, to convert the drug into a cattle feed supplement.
The drug can help prevent the bacteria from spreading to humans through contaminated beef, which causes 70,000 infections and a few dozen deaths each year in the United States alone.
The companies plan to carry out a trial among 400 cattle in Canada next year and launch the drug there by mid-2007. They hope to start selling it in the U.S. soon after.