VIDO-InterVac researchers and their collaborators in Canada and Ireland aim to deliver two new vaccines for these costly mycobacterial diseases. The funding, awarded through Genome Canada's Genomics and Feeding the Future program, is part of a $7.4-million project over four years.
The team, which includes collaborators at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and the Agri-Food and Biosciences Institute in Northern Ireland, will use a genomics-based approach called 'reverse vaccinology' to identify disease proteins that the cattle immune system will recognize as foreign and react to. Identification of these proteins is the first step in developing novel vaccines. The project will use VIDO-InterVac's state-of-the-art containment Level 3 facility.
"We have the only facility in Canada with the capacity to conduct vaccine development and testing of this magnitude," said VIDO-InterVac director Andrew Potter. "Our team will take full advantage of VIDO-InterVac's containment infrastructure to develop vaccines that will not only improve the health of cattle, but will also enhance Canada's reputation as a major agri-food producer."
Project co-lead, Robert Hancock, director of the Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research from UBC, agreed.
"This grant is further evidence that our long term collaboration with VIDO-InterVac produces outstanding results that solve economically-important problems," said Hancock.
The researchers plan to develop and bring to market vaccines for these costly diseases within two years of the project's end.
About the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre:
An organization of the University of Saskatchewan, VIDO-InterVac has four decades of experience working with public and private partners to conduct research and develop vaccines to prevent and control human and animal infectious disease. With more than 150 scientific personnel, the organization operates using an ISO:9001 certified management system in a state-of-the-art $200 million containment level 2 and 3 facility. VIDO-InterVac receives financial support from a variety of sources including the Government of Canada, Government of Saskatchewan, foundations, producer groups and corporations.
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