March 28, 2023


New Pirbright Institute-based center to drive creation of animal vaccines




A new centre at The Pirbright Institute in the United Kingdom will focus on accelerating the development of animal vaccines to combat emerging and urgent infectious diseases.


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.


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.


Totaling almost £40 million (US$49.3 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 by supporting manufacturing innovation in order to reduce costs, scale production and support the adoption of novel platform technologies;


    - 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, 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."

- Labmate Online

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