GREENFIELD - Greenfield-based Elanco Animal Health Inc. (NYSE: ELAN) has acquired a Canadian biotech startup that specializes in vaccines for food animals. Elanco announced Thursday it acquired Montreal-based Prevtech Microbia Inc. in an all-cash deal of nearly $60 million.

The two companies already had a relationship as Elanco has exclusive rights to distribute a product line of swine vaccines called Coliprotec in Canada and Europe.

“Elanco’s partnership with Prevtec has been very successful and has resulted in delivery of an important non-antibiotic solution for swine producers,” said Ramiro Cabral, executive vice president of International for Elanco.

Coliprotec is designed to protect young pigs from severe diarrhea which affects about half of all weaned pigs. Untreated, diarrhea in pigs can suppress appetite, weight loss, and even mortality.