June 3, 2013

Ceva collaborates with China's SCAU on avian influenza vaccines 
Press release


Ceva has signed a scientific cooperation agreement with the South China Agriculture University (SCAU), to evaluate Ceva's Vectormune® AI against local virulent strains of avian flu and collectively develop new products.

Ceva and SCAU's veterinary faculty will scientifically evaluate the effectiveness of Vectormune® AI against the H5N1 strains in China. This study will validate the value of beginning registration and a transfer of production according to the regulations in place in China.

In addition, if appropriate, it will allow the start-up of research work in collaboration with Chinese institutions regarding the value of using Ceva's technology for the control of other diseases, including other forms of avian influenza caused by new viruses.

Vectormune® AI is designed to control and eliminate the H5N1 influenza virus. This vaccine was licensed by the US administration and tested by international research centres against all identified virulent strains of H5N1 and scientifically demonstrated its full effectiveness. It is now registered and used with particular success in Egypt - another country affected by the endemic form of the H5N1 avian influenza.

Vectormune® AI is not administered during the production period but at the hatchery as soon as the chick hatches. The implementation of vaccination at a single location by well-trained teams following controlled procedures ensures the quality of vaccination and greatly reduces the risk of the virus spreading by avoiding the need for vaccination teams to visit different sites.

Ceva's partnership with China began after an agreement with Huadu, a subsidiary of the China Agricultural Group, in July 2011. The two companies created a joint venture Ceva Huadu, which now employs 20 people, including two expatriates.

China's population continues to grow and living standards are rapidly increasing. Meat consumption is as a result also increasing, particularly that of chicken. Globally, China now consumes more chicken meat than the US. This consumption will increase 30% by 2020, by when China will become the world's largest producer of chicken meat.

The Chinese authorities have made the eradication of epidemics and the reduction of mortality in poultry, a strategic area of focus. In this context, vaccination has become an essential step to better protect animals, reduce production costs and improve livestock productivity, thus enhancing food security.

In areas with high concentrations of people and animals, vaccination is also the best defence against the risk of emergence of zoonoses, always likely to turn into pandemics, in a world of increased mobility.

South China Agriculture University was founded in 1908. Its main campus is in Wushan, Guangzhou. The university has 24 colleges, including the veterinary college, and 36,000 students including international students from 22 countries. It now has 23 partner universities in 13 countries across Europe, America, Asia and Oceania.

Founded in1951, the Veterinary College of the South China Agricultural University also has a long history of education and research in the field of animal health. In particular, the veterinary college has a laboratory for research on the feeding of and control of diseases in poultry. This specialisation in poultry adds special relevance to the new partnership with Ceva to test a solution against avian influenza.