June 7, 2018

Kernfarm eyes vaccine portfolios – Animal Pharm News

Kernfarm eyes vaccine portfolios, strategic partnerships to become leading provider 


In 2017, Kernfarm was named the number one fastest-growing company in the Netherlands. With a portfolio of 150 animal health products and over 250 clients across Europe, the start-up spoke to Animal Pharm analyst Sian Lazell about tackling the needs of livestock veterinarians and its future plans for growth.

Based in Utrecht, good manufacturing practices-certified animal health company Kernfarm is working to expand its capability as a leading provider of livestock medicines.

The name Kernfarm translates literally as ‘core farm’, reflecting the business’ aim to become the go-to provider for livestock medicines.

The firm’s portfolio is a mix of its own-brand products and those from the animal health industry’s big pharma companies. Over the last four years, it has used its strong connection to veterinary clinics across Europe to identify unmet needs in the livestock market and deliver solutions.

Kernfarm has a two-way approach – not only does its stock products from the big players, it also locates products with good market viability and registers them under the Kernfarm brand in new territories where they are needed.

The company was established by three brothers: Tim van Rijn, Gijs van Rijn and Diederik van Rijn, all of whom are directors of the company. Collectively, they bring together backgrounds in agricultural management and animal health, innovation management, as well as business and finance.

Most of the products stocked by Kernfarm at present are registered by other businesses but the firm has two undisclosed products of its own in development and is currently working to launch another under the Kernfarm brand.

This branded product is Trichoben, which is a vaccine for the prevention and therapeutic treatment of the fungal skin disease trichophytosis in cattle and can be administered from one day of age. Kernfarm is launching the product in the Netherlands and Belgium at present.

Tim van Rijn said: “It’s fair to say the livestock sector in is a thriving market but one heavily dominated by a few large pharma companies and many regulations.

“These factors are not making it easy for newcomers to enter but once they can get in, there is a good opportunity to bring new products to larger markets.”

Kernfarm has used Diederik van Rijn’s background in veterinary pharma and agribusiness management to build strong connections with over 250 veterinary practices, to find out what vets need in different areas.

Tim van Rijn explained: “We usually create collaborations with pharma companies outside of the Netherlands. Then, if it is feasible to get their products registered in another country where they are needed, we facilitate that.”

Kernfarm also prides itself on being able to source products for vets that are low in stock elsewhere. It credits this ability to its good overview of the EU market in general and its strong connections to different sized pharma firms.

Tim van Rijn said: “As long as there are stock issues, which are getting more frequent, this business model is quite sustainable. There has been a lot of acquisition and optimization of manufacturing from bigger firms. Manufacturing – especially for vaccines – is so complex that supply challenges occur often. The bigger companies also see problems with stock allocation on the market.”

Jo Weston, marketing and communications manager at the firm, added: “As a small company we are able to adapt to a changing market and we don’t work with fixed supply numbers.”

Outlook for growth

Kernfarm was established four years ago and now has a workforce of 12 people. In the next five years, the company is aiming to see 80% of its turnover represented by its own brand products.

Although the firm is currently focused on the livestock space, it has not ruled out looking at the companion animal market in the future.

Kernfarm provides a range of products but it has a particular interest in vaccines and plans to focus investment on the acquisition of vaccine dossiers over the next few years.

The company told Animal Pharm: “It is very much our goal to be a partner of both big and small companies in the industry.”