Moredun Research Institute (MRI), in collaboration with French animal health company Ceva Sante Animale (Ceva), have been awarded £900,000 (80% funded) to develop new vaccines that target the viruses and bacteria responsible for bovine respiratory disease (BRD).
This marks the second round of a £11.5M initiative from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), and the Scottish Government to transform the UK livestock sector by reducing the burden of endemic diseases on animal health, welfare, and productivity.
Developed in consultation with academia, industry and policy makers, the endemic livestock disease initiative focuses on fostering collaborative research between academia, industry, and end-users. The goal is to deliver innovative on-farm solutions that will effectively mitigate the impact of endemic diseases on the UK livestock sector.
Sometimes known as bovine pneumonia, bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is a multi-factorial disease affecting mainly young stock in the first year of life and is considered to have among the highest economic impacts of any infectious condition of cattle. The team from Moredun and Ceva are testing virus-based vaccine vectors, engineered to deliver antigens from the viruses and bacteria that cause BRD. The vaccine vectors are designed to induce a rapid antibody response following vaccination to protect cattle from disease resulting from infection. The critical advantage is that the viruses and bacteria are not involved in the production of the vaccine. The ability of novel virus vector systems to induce antibodies against these important cattle pathogens will be tested, having already been proven to be completely safe and very effective in previous studies.
The project, titled “Next generation vaccines for bovine respiratory disease complex utilising virus vaccine vectors to target both bacterial and viral pathogens” is one of 14 successful projects for this second round of funding.
Dr. William Golde, Principal Investigator at MRI said:
“This award allows us to expand our ongoing work with Ceva to create and analyse next generation vaccines for BRD using our virus-based vaccine vectors to deliver vaccine payloads. Developed over a number of years at MRI now, these vaccine vectors address a critical part of the funding call, that the technology be “plug-and-play”. That is, if a new viral pathogen or a new strain of a known virus emerges, vaccines to address this new threat can be rapidly generated and tested for efficacy by replacing antigens from the old virus with those from the new strain. Once we demonstrate immunogenicity of these new vectored BRD vaccines, we will be able to switch to targeting new emerging strains of these viral pathogens very rapidly. “
Dr. Edouard Timsit, Head of Global Innovation Livestock Health and Sustainability at Ceva, said:
“This public-private grant award will further strengthen our partnership with Moredun research institute. Our collaboration will foster innovation towards superior vaccines against bovine pneumonia; a disease that still severely impedes wellbeing of cattle and economics sustainability of farms in the UK and beyond”.
UK Chief Veterinary Officer, Christine Middlemiss, said:
“The UK remains committed to working collaboratively with farmers to overcome infectious animal disease. I welcome the second phase of this exciting research initiative. This funding brings together farmers, vets and researchers to develop and test new solutions to some of our most serious animal health challenges on farm, making a real difference to the health and wellbeing of the UK’s livestock.”
Notes to editors
Moredun have recently published a new fact sheet on Bovine Respiratory Disease Complex which is available to members of the Moredun Foundation at: https://moredun.org.uk/resources/factsheets/bovine-respiratory-disease-complex
The Moredun Group is a farmer led organisation committed to promoting livestock health and welfare through research and education. Working on an international scale, our research focusses on developing vaccines, diagnostic tests and disease control strategies for endemic, infectious diseases of livestock and our outreach work is of prime importance to us to maintain our strong links with the livestock industry. https://moredun.org.uk/
Ceva Sante Animale (Ceva) is the 5th global animal health company, led by experienced veterinarians, whose mission is to provide innovative health solutions for all animals to ensure the highest level of care and well-being. Our portfolio includes preventive medicine such as vaccines, pharmaceutical and animal welfare products for farm and companion animals, as well as equipment and services to provide the best experience for our customers. With 6,700 employees located in 47 countries, Ceva strives daily to bring to life its vision as a One Health company: “Together, beyond animal health”.
2022 turnover: €1.5 billion.
BBSRC is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond. Funded by the government, BBSRC invested £451 million in world-class bioscience in 2019-20. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals. https://www.ukri.org/councils/bbsrc/