Bringing vaccine innovation to market

Bringing vaccine innovation to market

23 January 2015. Ottawa, Canada. Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) announced three new projects to be supported under the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF). The projects will help prevent livestock diseases and post-harvest fruit losses that affect millions of farmers around the world, and build on the successful research carried out during CIFSRF’s first phase.

CIFSRF is a $124-million fund that works to increase food security in developing countries by funding research in agricultural innovation and nutrition, and fostering collaboration between developing-country researchers and Canadian experts. The results aim to help governments, institutions, private enterprises, and farmers adopt better food security policies and practices.

“These international collaborations will improve the lives of poor small-holder farmers and strengthen rural economies. With these innovations, farmers will be able to better feed themselves and supply more nutritious food to consumers in developing countries. At the same time, we are identifying the most effective ways of taking these food security solutions and achieving large-scale impacts with them,” IDRC President Jean Lebel.

CIFSRF is now looking to expand the reach of three of the most promising solutions:

  1. A team, led by researchers at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization at the University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and the Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization, has identified new proteins that could be used in a vaccine to protect cattle against a devastating form of pneumonia. The team is developing a cost-effective, safe, and easy-to-produce vaccine against this lung disease, which affects the livelihoods of 24 million people in Africa. At the same time, the team is partnering with African manufacturers and government regulatory agencies to prepare for the widespread rollout of the affordable vaccine.
  2. A CIFSRF-supported team has developed an efficient combination vaccine to protect livestock against up to five deadly diseases that cost millions of dollars in losses. The team—led by the University of Alberta, Canada, and the Agricultural Research Council, South Africa —will now carry out extensive field trials of the combination vaccine and continue research on a vaccine against African swine fever.
  3. Researchers from the University of Guelph, Canada, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, India, and the Industrial Technical Institute, Sri Lanka, have shown that a natural compound known as hexanal delays the ripening of mangos. Using nanotechnology, the team will continue to develop hexanal-impregnated packaging and biowax coatings to improve the fruit’s resilience during handling and shipping for use in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. It will also expand its research to include other fruit and look at ways to commercialize the technologies.

New funding will allow the research teams to further develop the new technologies and involve partners who can bring them to market to reach greater numbers of small-holder farmers.

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