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Barex's current research focus is the development of preservation media for equine semen.

Horse artificial insemination (AI) has several advantages over live reproduction.

  1. The mare and stallion never have to come in contact with each other. This reduces accidents, such as the mare kicking the stallion.
  2. Semen may be shipped to other countries, even continents.
  3. The mare does not have to travel to the stallion, while many mares may be inseminated from one stallion.
  4. AI reduces the chance of spreading sexually transmitted diseases between mare and stallion.
  5. Frozen semen may be stored and used to breed mares even after the stallion is dead.

Mares can be inseminated with freshly collected semen on-farm. Since semen has a short lifespan, insemination must be done within a few hours after collecting the semen. Alternatively, the semen can be diluted with a preservation medium and then chilled to 4 °C. Then, insemination must take place within 48 hours. In this case one has more time for transport of the diluted semen to the mare. The semen can also be frozen (in liquid nitrogen) and stored for later use. However, freezing reduces fertility.

The availability of high quality semen preservation media for diluting stallion semen and for chilling or freezing is very important to preserve the sperm cells, and to assure optimal fertility for artificial insemination. Towards this goal, Barex has deveveloped a new preservation medium for fresh use and cooled transport, named Hippex.

Barex will continue to focus on the development of improved stallion semen extenders with superior performance with respect to preserving optimal viability and fertilizing capacity of stallion sperm cells.