Biofarm Research and Development Center

Mohammad Mehdi NaderiCEO
Abolfazl ShiraziTechnical Officer

About:

The high production costs of each unit of milk and meat are common complaints among livestock producers. In recent decades, however, advanced countries have been able to reduce production costs by 20-30% through the use of "breeding premium cattle using laboratory production of embryos." Considering the need to establish a specialized center in the field of Modern Reproductive Technologies for Cattle Breeding consisting of specialized and experienced human resources, the Biofarm Center was established in 2017. For the first time in the country, the Biofarm Center has produced premium dairy, dual-purpose, and meat breeds of cows, with the aim of improving the productivity of livestock production.

The most important activities of Biopharm Center:
  • Localization and commercialization of the technology of in vitro production of embryos using the technique of "transvaginal ultrasound-guided oocyte aspiration"
  • Establishing an embryo bank of the top five breeds of cattle including Jersey, Simmental, Charolais, Limousin, and Aquitaine
  • Establishment of an embryo bank of domestic and Italian premium buffaloes
  • Obtaining the first and only "License for Laboratory Production of Embryos" in the country
  • Conclusion of the product sales contract with the country's large animal husbandry holdings, including the Executive Headquarters of Imam's Directive, Astan Quds Razavi, Kausar, and the private sector
  • Production and sale of male calves with superior genetic characteristics required by semen processing laboratories
  • Registration of patents for two inventions and ranking in four national and international festivals in the field of business plan
  • The establishment of a knowledge-based company affiliated to Avicenna Research Institute in 2020 with the aim of developing activities of the Biofarm

Future prospects

  • The achievement in increasing the food security index value in "meat" and "butter" production due to the creation of pure herds of premium meat and dairy breeds for the first time in the country
  • Establishment of the first and largest center for the production of genetically superior calves in the country
  • The establishment of the first center for the export of premium embryos of different breeds to the countries of the region
  • Increasing the population and breeding of indigenous Iranian cattle in danger of extinction
  • Commercialization of laboratory production of embryos from camels with desirable genetic characteristics
  • Commercialization of “frozen sperm” production as well as “laboratory embryo production” in premium horses

Other capabilities of Biofarm Center:

  • Using simulation and modelling techniques in farm animals
  • Vitrification, freezing of reproductive cells, oocytes, sperm, embryos, stem cells, testicular and ovarian tissue in farm animals
  • Manipulation of germ cells and embryos, including embryo biopsy, embryonic stem cells (ESCs) research, nuclear, and cytoplasmic transfer

The main area of activity:

The research farm of Avicenna Research Institute (ARI) began its activities in November 2016 as a “The center with specialized services for reproductive biotechnology in animals”. The center is located on a 25,000 square meter site with 1,500 square meters of infrastructure, situated within the Alborz Science and Technology Park. The center's primary focus is on reproductive biotechnology, with the aim of applying and commercializing some of the research accomplishments from the Embryology and Andrology Group at Avicenna Research Institute (ARI). The key activities of this center include:
  • Establishing a bank of germ cells and embryos from animals with desirable genetic characteristics. This is done with the goal of improving animal breed and its positive outcomes, such as improved production efficiency, enhanced resistance to environmental stressors and diseases, as well as the preservation of endangered animal species
  • Developing and localizing the technical know-how for producing transgenic animals. This is directed towards creating laboratory animal models and other biological products

Center services:

The main activity of the center is production and provision of services; as a result, it provides consulting services related to the center's activity. Among the most important specialized services of this center, the following can be mentioned:
  • Establishing a bank of animal gametes and embryos
  • Production and breeding of laboratory, livestock, and other animals used in biological research
  • Production of cloned and genetically modified animal models, biological products derived from animals, animal cell lines derived from embryonic and somatic stem cells, as well as animal and poultry vaccines
  • Providing specialized reproductive services for enhancing reproductive efficiency in animals
  • Providing standards and guidelines relevant to the main activities of the center
  • Engaging in scientific and research collaboration with domestic and international research, academic, and scientific institutions
  • Cooperating, investing, and collaborating with companies, projects, and production plans through contracting, consulting, service provision, and business ventures. This includes any investment and partnership activities with individuals and legal entities related to the center's scope of work, both domestically and internationally
  • Holding seminars, conferences, specialized workshops, and training courses related to the center's activity

Future perspectives

  • Establishing the center as a leading national hub for livestock reproductive biotechnology research and innovation
  • Becoming a national reference center for genomic embryo production
  • Serving as a production and distribution hub of sheep semen with high quality for twin pregnancies in Iran
  • Exporting biotechnology products to neighboring countries and the region
  • Producing model animals to support research in pharmacology, immunology, tissue transplantation, and related fields
  • Establishment of a premium bovine embryo bank
  • Production of high-quality embryos from dairy, beef, and dual-purpose cattle breeds
  • Large-scale production of gender-selected cattle embryos to replace 1% of artificial insemination with embryo transfer
  • Improving the quality of in vitro-produced embryos to increase pregnancy rates after transfer
  • Generating embryos with desirable genetic characteristics (e.g., improved feed efficiency, disease resistance)
Sheep semen production and distribution program
  • Expanding the diversity of specialized sheep semen to increase twinning, growth rates, and other desirable traits
  • Providing artificial insemination services for herds
Production of animal models
  • Generating genetically-engineered mouse models for research in reproduction, pharmacology, immunology, and tissue transplantation
Patent registration
  • Production of frozen sex-selected bovine embryos
  • Development of a new biopsy needle for sampling trophectoderm from blastocyst-stage embryos
  • Production of frozen sheep semen using glass vitrification freezing technology
  • Development of a 3D culture system for sheep primordial follicles
Awards and research achievements
  • Acceptance of the company's business plan at the 2015 iBRIDGES in Berlin
  • Winning the grand prize in the 2015 Inventions Festival
  • Securing the first-place award in InnoTech Expo 2016
  • Awarded third place at the 11th Sheikh-Bahai Technopreneurship Festival
Licenses and approvals
  • Obtaining the operating license for the first bovine embryo production center in the country
  • Obtaining product approval from “National Animal Breeding Center and Promotion of Animal Products”
Partnerships and cooperation with public and private organizations
  • Cooperation agreement with the Central Union of Livestock Breeders of Iran (damdaraniran)
  • Memorandum of understanding with the Animal Science Research Institute of IRAN (ASRI)
Workshops
  • In-vitro embryo production
  • Biopsy techniques
  • Embryo manipulation (ICSI, enucleation, ES cell injection)
  • Working with laboratory animals
  • Embryo cryopreservation
  • Abolfazl Shirazi (PhD in Obstetrics and Reproductive Diseases)
  • Mohammad Mehdi Naderi (PhD in Small Animal Internal Medicine)
  • Ali Sarvari (PhD in Animal Reproduction Technology)
  • Sara Borjian (DVM)
  • Javid Fatehi (BSc in Animal Husbandry)
  • Ali Malekpour (MSc in Biotechnology)
  • Mohammad Mehdi Mehrazar (MSc in Animal Breeding and Genetics)
  • Bahareh Behzadi (PhD in MBA)
  • Mostafa Pournourali (MSc in Cellular and Developmental Biology)
  • Hamideh Adeldust (PhD in Animal Physiology)
  • Vahid Raeesi (MSc in Animal Breeding and Genetics)
  • Mohammad Zare (Associate Degree)
  • Vahid Abbasi (Associate Degree)


پژوهشگاه فناوری های نوین علوم زیستی جهاد دانشگاهی - ابن سینا با هدف دستیابی به دانش فنی در زمینه فناوری‌های نوین زیستی از طریق انجام طرح‌های مطالعاتی و پژوهشی آزمایشگاهی و بالینی، از سال ۱۳۷۷ فعالیت خود را آغاز کرد.

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