Arecor unveils global livestock vaccine breakthrough
IP from Cambridge technology company Arecor is at the heart of two vaccines developed to fight major diseases of livestock across the developing world including Africa, Asia and the Middle East.
Around 900 million people rely on their livestock for their daily needs and through newly developed formulations just unveiled these vital vaccines can be made more accessible and affordable to people living in poverty.
Arecor’s formulation technology work has been supported by Innovate UK, the UK government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The breakthrough has resulted in a collaboration between Arecor and the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed) which successfully stabilised liquid formulations of the new vaccines.
Arecor’s Arestat technology was applied to enable a vaccine to be distributed pre-prepared in a liquid format without the requirement for in-field reconstitution from the freeze-dried powder form.
Arestat has also been applied to reduce the cost of a batch of vaccine diluent by 96 per cent, improving its distribution and uptake by farmers. The two diseases targeted by the vaccines are ‘Goat Plague’ or Peste des petits ruminants (PPR) and East Coast fever (ECF).
Goat Plague is a viral disease of goats and sheep which causes the deaths of millions of animals in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. East Coast fever is a tick-borne disease and the single biggest killer of cattle in East Africa and parts of Central Africa.
The new Arecor PPR vaccine formulation includes specific combinations of excipients that form part of the Arecor’s proprietary formulation platform technology. These have previously been shown to stabilise vaccines including measles and which come from the same Paramyxoviridae viral family as PPR.
This new formulation allows the PPR vaccine to be manufactured without a costly and time-consuming freeze drying operation, which reduces its per-dose cost to farmers.
The new vaccine can now also be distributed pre-prepared in a liquid format without the requirement for in-field reconstitution.
GALVmed’s CSO, Jeremy Salt, said: “I am thrilled that our collaboration has produced a stunning result and that Arecor’s extensive expertise and skill in developing formulations and stabilisers has been innovative and fruitful.
“I very much look forward to working with Arecor and seeing them apply their knowledge and skill in the production of products and vaccines to help tackle the huge challenges that PPR & ECF present to livestock keepers in the developing world.
“Around 900 million people rely on their livestock for their daily needs and it is vital that vaccines, medicines and diagnostics are as accessible and affordable as possible to people living in poverty.”
Arecor CEO, Sarah Howell added: “We are very pleased to have been asked to collaborate and to be so tangibly involved in a project that supports GALVmed’s charitable mission in developing countries.
“This undertaking has presented us and our ArestatTM formulation technology with an ideal platform upon which to demonstrate how our technology can be both ground-breaking and pivotal.
“Optimising vaccines for thermostability to reduce the cold chain burden has always been a key focus for us and I am confident and excited that this successful breakthrough will positively impact upon countless lives across the developing world.”
• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Sarah Howell