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Vaccine expert joins HIPRA’s push into aquaculture

Bjarte Lygren is HIPRA's new Regional Technical & Marketing Manager Aqua, covering the UK and Ireland as well as the Nordic countries.
Bjarte Lygren is HIPRA's new Regional Technical & Marketing Manager Aqua, covering the UK and Ireland as well as the Nordic countries.

Veterinary pharma firm HIPRA is strengthening its presence in aquaculture and the salmon market by recruiting Bjarte Lygren as Regional Technical & Marketing Manager Aqua.

Lygren will cover the UK and Ireland, as well as the Nordic countries, from his base in Bergen, Norway.

"We start with smaller projects but have a clear long-term perspective and commitment," says Bjarte, who has more than 20 years' experience in the field of fish health and immunology in the salmon industry.

The company’s future strategy is expressed in its vision: to be the reference in prevention for animal health.

"One of the reasons why I enjoy being part of the HIPRA team is the very strong focus on prevention and innovative vaccine development," says Bjarte. "My main field of interest through all the years in the industry has been immunology and how to help the fish withstand diseases through vaccination."

He adds that it takes a long time to develop and register commercially-approved vaccines and that their R&D department has various projects on salmon.

"The company is putting strong resources into this. In the meantime, the company is equipped to make autogenous vaccines if applicable. This is a great advantage for fish welfare, since new issues seem to emerge continuously beyond what is covered by the already registered products. Our autogenous vaccines for salmon have already been tried out by some actors in the industry. Such vaccines may only be used in cases where there are no approved commercial vaccines available," he says.

Aqua team

HIPRA's diagnostic unit handles more than 300,000 serological tests, 20,000 PCR tests and 3,000 bacterial isolations and identifications annually.

"I met a highly experienced, professional and dedicated aqua team during the hiring process. I report directly to the Regional Director for Europe in HIPRA, Enric Gimferrer, who himself is an aqua-veterinarian educated at the Institute of Aquaculture at Stirling University, Scotland.

"Enric has long aquaculture industry experience before he started his career in HIPRA and a strong engagement with salmon farming. He is also responsible for all the production animals in his region," says Bjarte.

The aqua-team also consists of veterinarian Marta Perello Rodriguez, who is Global Product Manager Aqua, and scientist David Parra, the coordinator of the salmonids section at the R&D department. Parra has more than ten years of experience in fish immunology research, with important contributions to the field and collaborations with top laboratories in Europe and the USA.

HIPRA is a multinational company that researches, makes and markets products for prevention in animal health.

Currently, 16 per cent of HIPRA staff and 10 per cent of annual turnover are dedicated to R&D and regulatory affairs. HIPRA has its own branches in 34 countries and two strategically located production plants, one in Europe (Spain) and another in South America (Brazil). Its products are available  in more than 100 countries.