ECO Animal Health signs two pig vaccine development and licencing deals
These two new partnerships with The Pirbright Institute in the UK and The Vaccine Group ("TVG") reinforce ECO's commitment to research and development focused on diseases of economic importance in pigs and poultry.
The first collaboration will, over an 18 month period, utilise innovative technologies at Pirbright to develop killed PRRSV vaccine candidates capable of entering a full development programme and providing immunity against multiple strains of the virus.
A killed PRRSV vaccine would offer an attractive alternative to the current generation of live vaccines, which are only partially effective against different strains and suffer from safety constraints owing to the potential for the live vaccine virus to revert back to an infectious form.
The second collaboration will test vaccine candidates at Pirbright created using TVG technology to insert non-infectious PRRSV genes supplied by Pirbright into a benign herpesvirus, which then stimulates the immune system when delivered into animals.
Vaccines that use herpesviruses as their base have been shown to provoke particularly strong reactions from T cells, which are a vital part of the antiviral response.
It is expected that the initial phase to develop candidate vaccines capable of entering a full development programme will be up to 18 months. ■