GALVmed R&D specialises in product development partnerships uniquely established to translate publicly and privately funded research into tangible livestock disease control tools for use by small-scale livestock keepers in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Since its inception, GALVmed has worked on 13 priority diseases that have been identified as imposing severe constraints on small-scale agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
Extensive programmes have been conducted on Porcine Cysticercosis control in pigs through the use of a newly registered vaccine and anthelmintic. For cattle, there has been a wide-ranging project on African Animal Trypanosomosis control including the development of a therapeutic trypanocide, improved pen-side diagnostic and quality control testing of products available in the market currently. Improved availability of the main tool to prevent East Coast Fever, use of the ECF Infection and Treatment Method tools, has been achieved through the transfer of an improved production process from ILRI, Nairobi to a facility at the AU Centre for Ticks and Tick-borne Diseases at Lilongwe, Malawi. GALVmed has worked closely with a commercial vaccine producer in South Africa on the development and registration of a high volume, attenuated live Rift Valley Fever vaccine. The major disease affecting small-scale poultry production in LMICs is Newcastle Disease and therefore GALVmed has supported several vaccine producers to develop, register and distribute more thermotolerant vaccines that can be used where the cold chain for distribution and veterinary care is limited.
As we look forward to a more productive small-scale livestock sector in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia in the future, GALVmed will increasingly incorporate work on a wider range of infectious diseases. Therefore, in addition to the original diseases, which were primarily Neglected Tropical Diseases, GALVmed will continue to consider the inclusion of projects on prevention, diagnosis, control and/or treatment of all infectious diseases that, based on refreshed evidence of needs, have the potential for benefitting smallholders. Our intention is to work on the development of 25 products and product related technologies (processes or platforms that will increase access to products). These will comprise an approximate 50:50 mix of new and enhanced existing products and technologies. Key components of the future strategy are to develop combination vaccines that may be appropriate for certain clinical syndromes and in our revised research programme to include platform technology assessment with partners in Kenya.
GALVmed maintains a small R&D team that works through an extensive network of partners comprising Contract Research Organisations (CROs), commercial and academic laboratories, research institutes and quasi-governmental organisations. A broad range of R&D activities take place through these partners and components of this work include:
Within the full range of activities above, the broad focus of GALVmed’s R&D work is on the translation of outcomes from basic research through to product development, registration, manufacturing and commercialisation. The objective is always to hand the product over, under GALVmed’s principle of Global Access, to a market-orientated partner who serves the small-scale livestock holder. This point of hand-over will vary from product to product and depend on a range of circumstances.