Lab Canada

Saskatchewan lab first to produce new swine vaccine

Saskatoon, SK – A new swine vaccine, developed in Quebec, will be produced in Saskatoon by the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC), beginning this month. The council says it is the first live animal vaccine in the past decade to be developed, validated, and produced in Canada.

Prevtec Microbia, a Quebec-based animal health company, and SRC recently received Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) approval to produce and market Coliprotec, a vaccine that controls a common disorder in pigs.

“This new vaccine can provide some comfort for farmers who face losing a good portion of their swine population to disease,” says Lyle Stewart, the minister responsible for SRC. “The opportunity to produce animal vaccines will help bring new business to Saskatchewan and new health care products to livestock producers in this province and throughout Canada.”

In partnership with Prevtec, SRC carried out the pre-license serial testing work in its biosafety level 2 fermentation pilot plant in order to secure CFIA regulatory approval to commercialize the vaccine.

“Coliprotec will dramatically help the swine industry in Canada,” Prevtec president and CEO Michel Fortin said. “There has been a strong demand from industry for this type of vaccine. It effectively controls post-weaning diarrhea in swine, a common disorder that can spread easily and result in major financial losses for a producer. About one pig farm in four will, at some point, be affected by the disease. It may be responsible for a mortality rate as high as 10 per cent in affected populations.”

The vaccine was developed by Drs John Morris Fairbrother and Eric Nadeau of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Montreal. Prevtec is a spin-off company that resulted from this research. It was established in 2005 to develop technologies for the prevention and control of bacterial infections for the animal health and agri-food sectors.