• CVIM to accelerate Animal Vaccine Development

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CVIM to accelerate Animal Vaccine Development

Mar 24 2023

A new centre at The Pirbright Institute (UK) will focus on accelerating development of animal vaccines to combat emerging and urgent infectious diseases, that pose a very real risk to global food security and international trade, as well as presenting a significant threat to global human health due to pandemic potential.

The Centre for Veterinary Vaccine Innovation and Manufacturing (CVIM) - a joint initiative of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC); the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - aims to bridge the gaps between research and expertise in process development and manufacturing.

Scientifically independent the CVIM’s location provides leverage to significant previous investments into Pirbright’s high containment facilities for laboratory and animal studies and its expertise in veterinary virology, immunology and vaccine development.

Totalling almost £40 million this new investment, promotes a ‘one health’ approach towards improving the health and wellbeing of animals and humans on a global scale, while strengthening the UK’s own emergency response capacity and capability.

CVIM will achieve this by:

  • establishing a vital component of the global pandemic preparedness programme with emergency response vaccine development and production capacity for orphan livestock and zoonotic diseases of high consequence and newly emerging zoonotic viral diseases, thus limiting their spread and impact on both livestock and humans
  • addressing niche markets where there is an important clinical need for new vaccines but where it is commercially challenging
  • bridging the gaps between research and downstream commercial development of vaccines by supporting manufacturing innovation to reduce costs, scale production and support the adoption of novel platform technologies, thereby accelerating the development of animal and human vaccines
  • establishing the utility of novel vaccine platform technologies for neglected livestock diseases and urgent emerging zoonotic diseases that currently have insufficient commercial drive to justify industry investment
  • enhancing CVIM’s reputation as a leading international pilot-scale manufacturing centre that is able to attract, train and retain world class scientific, manufacturing and regulatory expertise and share its expertise for maximum global impact

The new centre will work with partners in Africa and Asia, to fast-track the development of vital new livestock vaccines.

Samuel Thevasagayam, Director of Livestock at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said: “It’s difficult if not impossible to address high rates of poverty and malnutrition in Africa and South Asia without a significant focus on the several hundred million people – many of them women – who depend on livestock for income and proper nutrition. We always have viewed livestock vaccines as a powerful tool for supporting their needs, and promoting global health, which is why we’re excited to be part of a new effort to harness advances in vaccine science to confront zoonotic and neglected livestock diseases.”

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