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Research agreement made for new veterinary vaccine


Calgary, AB April 21 Research technology sponsored by the Canadian Bacterial Diseases Network (CBDN) is the basis of a multiparty license and a collaborative research agreement with Bioniche Animal Health Canada for the commercial development of a vaccine to prevent disease in cattle caused by the bacterium Haemophilus somnus.

The University of Saskatchewan, University Technologies International (the University of Calgary’s technology commercialization company), the Canadian Microbiology Consortium (a facilitator corporation for CBDN) licensed the technology to biopharmaceutical company Bioniche. The research agreement itself is between the University of Saskatchewan, CMCI and Bioniche.

The technology was developed through CBDN-funded research by Dr Anthony Schryvers at the University of Calgary and Dr Andrew Potter of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) at the University of Saskatchewan.

The research agreement is concerned with providing “proof of principle” evidence regarding dosage and efficacy of a fused antigen construct, contributing to the envisaged commercial product. The bacterium H somnus is a common disease-causing organism that spreads throughout cattle and which may manifest itself in several forms, including Bovine Respiratory Disease complex and a systemic disease. Bioniche will have all rights to manufacture and commercialize the vaccine on a worldwide basis.

The new sub-unit vaccine is expected to offer economic advantages and improvements in safety, particularly with dairy cattle. Cattle producers will benefit from vaccine production cost savings, improved efficacy and compatibility with, for example, mucosal delivery. Furthermore, the nature of a sub-unit vaccine contributes to an improved ability to mix with others in combination products.

Although it is difficult to say what losses are directly attributable to H somnus as opposed to other respiratory pathogens, it is known that the entire BRD complex results in losses of at least C$1 billion per year. The H somnus bacterium is associated with the most significant losses due to animal death and an efficacious vaccine will therefore have a significant economic impact.

CBDN, a member of the federal Networks of Centres of Excellence program, is a Canada-wide consortium of researchers and their laboratories whose work focuses on bacterial disease.