young piglets drinking at pig farm kadmy/iStock/Thinkstock

S. suis vaccine project moves forward

Intervacc receives funding from Eurostars for further development of vaccine for piglets.

Intervacc has been awarded funding through the Eurostars-2 program for further development of a vaccine against severe infection of piglets caused by Streptococcus suis.

The Eurostars-2 program, a part of the European Union's Horizon 2020 program, is financing approximately 50% of the budgeted project cost of approximately 1.6 million euros and, at the same time, adds a significant quality approval for the vaccine technology, the Sweden-based company said.

“Funding from Eurostars, in fierce competition with many other projects, confirms the strength of Intervacc, our technology and our business strategy to develop new vaccines in animal health. We see this as an extremely important step forward for the company,” Intervacc chief executive officer Jan-Ingmar Flock said.

Intervacc said it has been cooperating with Moredun Scientific in Edinburgh, Scotland, for some time with the aim of developing a vaccine -- under the project name INV274 -- against infection of piglets caused by S. suis.

The project phase for which Intervacc, along with Moredun Scientific, now has been granted funding includes funds for implementing a number of important developmental steps within the INV274 project, including pre-clinical efficacy studies in piglets, antibody analysis and vaccination of pregnant sows in addition, the company said.

The European Commission concluded that the technical and scientific cooperation between Intervacc and Moredun Scientific has a clear added value for Europe. In addition, the final results of the innovative, collaborative project are expected to create significant market change at commercialization.

S. suis causes severe infections in some pig herds, with devastating results for the pig industry, and also has given rise to infections in people, Intervacc noted, adding that, with almost 1 billion pigs worldwide, there is a great need for a working vaccine. Existing conventional vaccines have limited effect and do not protect against all strains, the company said.

According to the announcement, the current project uses the same successful technology with recombinant proteins from the bacterial surface as used in Strangvac, Intervacc’s vaccine against equine strangles.

Intervacc said it has recently also been awarded funds from Vinnova for the development of a vaccine against Staphylococcus aureus that causes mastitis infections in dairy cattle.

Flock said, “The quality requirements and the fact that several of our projects have been rated so well by independent expert reviewers in a short while confirms that Intervacc’s project portfolio for a new generation of animal health vaccines is of great interest.”

Moredun Scientific is a contract research organization specializing in animal health and bio-safety testing of biopharmaceuticals that enables companies to develop, register and commercialize their products.

Intervacc AB is a biotechnology sector company with a focus on developing modern sub-unit vaccines against economically important bacterial infections, mainly within animal health. Its vaccine candidates are based on several years of research at Karolinska Institute and the Swedish University of Agricultural Research, where the foundation was laid for the company's research and development work.

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