Portland-based ImmuCell Corp. has received U.S. Department of Agriculture approval for a new product that boosts immunity to the three major causes of diarrhea, or scours, in newborn calves.

The growing animal health company said Monday that the USDA’s Center for Veterinary Biologics has approved licensure for its new product, First Defense Tri-Shield, and its claims of being able to boost calves’ immunity to E. coli, coronavirus and rotavirus, all of which can cause life-threatening scours.

Previous iterations of First Defense, which contains antibody-rich colostrum – milk produced in late pregnancy – in capsule form, were only licensed for claims of boosting immunity to E. Coli and coronavirus. The addition of rotavirus antibodies means that First Defense now can claim to ward off all three leading causes of scours, which will help differentiate ImmuCell’s product from its competitors, the company said in a statement.

“This is a very important achievement by our development and manufacturing teams after many years of challenging work,” ImmuCell President and CEO Michael Brigham said. “Generating a consistent level of rotavirus antibodies through our proprietary hyper-immunization program is not easy. This result utilizes the novel technology that we have exclusively licensed from the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.”

According to ImmuCell, no other product for calves is approved for claims of boosting immunity to all three pathogens in a one-time preventive dose.

The company recently completed work on a new, $20 million production facility to accommodate its growing product line.

ImmuCell also announced its financial results for the third quarter on Monday. The company reported sales of just over $2 million for the quarter, up 2 percent from sales of just under $2 million in the third quarter of 2016.

ImmuCell reported a quarterly net loss of $339,000, or 7 cents per share, compared with net income of $35,000, or 1 cent per share, a year earlier.

Brigham said the USDA’s approval of First Defense Tri-Shield should help ImmuCell boost its sales in the fourth quarter.

J. Craig Anderson can be contacted at 791-6390 or at:

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