Brucellosis remains endemic across much of the developing world.

Veterinary organisations urged to collaborate on vaccine innovation

Organisers of an international vaccine development competition are calling on veterinary organisations to join forces on vaccine innovation.

The global US $30m Brucellosis Vaccine Prize is designed, funded, and managed by AgResults, a collaborative initiative between the governments of Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Implemented by the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed), it involves three phases and can run for up to 10 years.

As the competition entries its second phase, GALVmed is urging commercial and academic organisations to collaborate to progress towards the four “milestone 2” prizes of $1m.

Applicants will be required to satisfy specific criteria with regard to proof of principles of efficacy and safety. They will also be asked to demonstrate progress on the development of a scaled-up production process for the commercial manufacture of a new Brucella melitensis vaccine.

GALVmed’s CEO Peter Jeffries said it is this requisite of a combination of technical expertise and technological facilities that may necessitate collaboration between organisations:

“An academic institution may, for example, have devised a novel approach to solving the issues associated with current vaccines – but may not have the ability to develop, manufacture and commercialise a new product,” he said.

“On the other hand, a commercial organisation may require access to specialist expertise or facilities in order to support development of their ideas. Individually, these two organisations may not reach the requirements for a Milestone 2 prize – but together, they could be a stronger contender.”

To help facilitate this collaboration, a partner portal has been made available at www.brucellosisvaccine.org/partners. The open-access portal enables organisations to advertise their expertise and capabilities, or to seek relevant alliances.

Brucellosis remains endemic across much of the developing world and impacts the majority of the 600 million people in those regions. The annual impact to smallholder farmers in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa is estimated at US $500 million per year.

The competition remains open to new applications from animal health innovators across industry and academia via the competition website www.brucellosisvaccine.org. The first phase of the competition saw 20 organisations progress through to the second phase of the competition, with ten of those winning prizes. 

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