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SG fund VisVires New Protein invests in Israeli shrimp virus tech startup ViAqua

SINGAPORE-BASED food- and agriculture-focused venture capital firm VisVires New Protein has invested in an Israeli aquaculture startup ViAqua, according to a report by AgFunderNews on Thursday.

Founded in 2014, ViAqua is in the process of developing a product that will prevent and treat viral epidemics in shrimp with a technology that inhibits specific viral gene expressions. This product can be added to conventional feed as a particulate.

The viral infections it can treat include that of the deadly White Spot Syndrome Virus, which can cause huge financial losses for shrimp producers.

"ViAqua's transformational solution for viral infections in shrimp will dramatically elevate the efficiency and quality of the entire shrimp aquaculture industry," VisVires New Protein founder and partner Matthieu Vermersch said, according to the report.

"This is especially relevant in Asia where much of shrimp farming is already producing near capacity. It is an industry that is traditionally plagued by poor disease management and high mortality rates. Our commitment to ViAqua is typical of our investment approach - backing companies which address a real, unmet need and solve a problem that truly matters for the industry."

ViAqua counts Dutch animal nutrition and fish feed producer Nutreco, Israeli medical and agriculture technology incubator Trendlines, and Israel's Technion Institute of Technology among its existing investors. It is a portfolio company of Trendlines. 

The company will continue research and development in the next few months before bringing the product to market.