Pet monoclonal antibody investment
A German pet therapeutic start-up, Adivo, has obtained seed funding for an undisclosed amount. The backers include German venture capital firm High-Tech Gründerfonds, Swiss investment business Occident Group and its former parent company MorphoSys. Adivo are making use of a new, fully synthetic phage display antibody library which mimics the canine immune globulin repertoire. Interestingly, Adivo are the first animal health company to focus exclusively on the development of monoclonal antibodies for pets since Nexvet Biopharma (which was acquired by animal pharma giant, Zoetis). Now armed with this injection of funding, Adivo aim to enhance their R&D activity.
Pirbright vaccine activity
UK-based The Pirbright Institute has had some exciting developments in the field of veterinary vaccinology. Dr. Pip Beard and her team are leading a €5.6 million consortium against both African swine fever (ASF) and lumpy skin disease (LSD). The team aims to develop effective vaccine candidates and diagnostic tools that would be of use to the pig and cattle industries.
Further, Professor Satya Parida’s Vaccine Differentiation group at the Pirbright Institute has filed a patent for a peste de petit ruminants (PPR) vaccine. This comes at the end of a large trip to Chennai, India, where they have been conducting a mass PPR vaccination and awareness project comprised of various specialist teams including the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS), Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), National Institute of Animal Biotechnology (NIAB) and National Institute of Veterinary Epidemiology and Disease Informatics (NIVEDI).
Vaccine against intramammary infections approved in Europe
The European Medicines Agency has granted Laboratorios Hipra approval for their Ubac inactivated vaccine used to prevent intramammary infections in cattle. The vaccine targets Streptococcus uberis, and will go well alongside Hipra’s Startvac product, which was the first vaccine against bovine mastitis in Europe (in 2009), which targets both E. coli and S. aureus.
GALVmed receives aid to develop vaccine projects for Africa
GALVmed has been granted over £12 million in UK government aid (via the Department for International Development) to advance key vaccine projects in Africa. The veterinary vaccines will target neglected tropical diseases, including: a small ruminant systemic multivalent vaccine, a small ruminant reproductive multivalent vaccine, peste des petits ruminants-sheep and goat pox combination vaccine for Asia, contagious bovine pleuropneumonia -lumpy skin disease +/- Rift Valley fever combination vaccines, a Newcastle disease combination vaccine, a Peste des petits ruminants marker vaccine, and an African swine fever vaccine. The funding comes as part of a joint venture with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, who awarded GALVmed over £52 million earlier this year.
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