Benchmark receives authorisation in Norway for salmon treatment

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Benchmark Holdings PLC (LON:BMK) said it had received marketing authorisation from the Norwegian Medicines Agency (NoMA) for EctosanVet (BMK08), its pioneering treatment for sea lice in salmon.


Sea lice are one of the biggest biological challenges in salmon farming, said Benchmark, and estimated to cost producers more than US$1bn annually, and US$600mln in Norway alone.


Ectosan Vet will be the first sea lice veterinary medicinal treatment to be introduced to the Norwegian salmon market in over a decade, it added.


The final steps for commercialisation are the ratification of the MRL (Maximum Residue Limit) into Norwegian regulation and the approval of product labels by the NoMA.


Benchmark added that the MRL ratification is a procedural step following EU legislation and is anticipated to complete in the next few weeks.


While the authorisation does not fully include all anticipated label claims on usage, Benchmark said it will work closely with its customers on how to use it most effectively and also with NoMA through field trials and variations.


Benchmark expects Ectosan Vet and CleanTreat, a water purification treatment, to be profitable from the outset, with expectations for the group’s performance in 2021 and potential market for the new sea lice solution unchanged, but with a slower ramp-up.


CleanTreat’s first customer was signed up in March.


“As previously communicated the initial launch will be with two vessels. Based on the current label claims, we expect to achieve an Adjusted EBITDA margin of 25%-30% (excluding IFRS 16) for Ectosan Vet and CleanTreat which we anticipate will increase as new claims are granted,” said the statement.


Trond Williksen, Benchmark’s chief executive, added: “We are pleased to have received Marketing Authorisation from the Norwegian Medicines Agency, which represents a major milestone for the company.


“We are excited to bring this much-needed solution to the salmon industry, driving sustainability through improved animal welfare and yield while protecting the environment.”


“We look forward to working with our customers as we roll out Ectosan Vet and CleanTreat in the market.”


Benckmark noted that the European Parliament has objected to the adoption of the Resolution (B9-0313/2021) relating to the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) for imidacloprid (BMK08) on finfish.


The MRL was ratified as European law through a European Commission Implementing Regulation on 15th April 2021.

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