GALVmed and AgResults are delighted to announce the launch of the Brucellosis Vaccine Initiative, a US $30 million prize competition aimed at incentivising animal health companies to develop a vaccine against brucellosis to be used mainly in developing countries.
The prize – one of the largest of its kind – is funded by AgResults, a collaborative initiative between the governments of Australia, Canada, the UK and the US as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in an effort to find innovative solutions from the private sector to seemingly intractable development challenges. GALVmed will act as the pilot manager and manage the implementation of the prize over the nearly ten year prize competition.
“The Brucellosis Vaccine Initiative is an innovative approach for the development of new vaccines while working with the animal health industry, which has the expertise to develop these vaccines,” said Peter Jeffries, the CEO of GALVmed. “Brucellosis is a significant disease for many people in the developing world and it causes human and animal health problems. An effective Brucellosis vaccine would have an incredible global impact.”
The challenge is targeting animal health, biotech and pharmaceutical companies and other organisations to develop and register an effective and safe vaccine to be used against B. melitensis, a strain of Brucellosis that particularly affects smallholder farmers in the developing world. Current vaccines against the disease are often ineffectual in the developing country context because they require complex management systems and/or may pose a threat to vaccinators as they contain the live disease. Furthermore, the current vaccine is thermosensitive and needs constant refrigeration. Given that a significant percentage of smallholder farmers may be nomadic in nature or live in remote areas and refrigeration facilities are few, the only currently available vaccine therefore has proved to be ultimately ineffective.
Brucellosis is a costly disease that affects ruminants (cattle, sheep, goats, buffalo, etc.) and causes abortions, infertility, decreased milk production and weight loss, among other effects. In addition to the effects the disease has on animals, the disease can cross the species barrier and effect humans with severe flu-like symptoms. There are approximately 500,000 new human cases reported annually. Such effects impact smallholder famers by depriving them of their main source of livelihood and ultimately reduces their ability to break out of the cycle of poverty.
Contact GALVmed’s Brucellosis team at firstname.lastname@example.org.