The new centre’s ambition is to bridge the global gap in translating scientific discoveries into solutions for challenging and urgent infectious diseases.
Based at The Pirbright Institute, CVIM is a joint initiative between:
- the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)
- the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO)
- the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Recognising the need for specialised expertise and facilities to scale up novel vaccines cost-effectively, CVIM aims to accelerate the development and deployment of vaccine technologies for neglected and emerging diseases of livestock. This includes zoonotic diseases that pose a threat to public health.
Strategic milestones achieved
CVIM has achieved a number of significant milestones in the past 12 months, including:
- establishing a robust governance structure
- recruiting skilled personnel
- mobilising equipment and facilities to begin operational activities
- initiating work on four key projects to develop vaccine platforms using protein expression, RNA and viral vector technologies
Heading into 2024, CVIM will see design and building plans finalised for a dedicated vaccine innovation facility at the Pirbright site.
Addressing global threats
CVIM’s progress illustrates its commitment to becoming a preferred partner in the development and production of vaccines, with a primary focus on orphan livestock and zoonotic diseases affecting low and-middle-income countries.
The consequences of livestock disease can be catastrophic. As well as posing a very real risk to global food security and international trade, livestock disease also presents a significant threat to global human health due to its pandemic potential.
CVIM’s overarching aim is to strengthen the UK’s emergency response capability while addressing the global need for effective vaccines against infectious diseases.
As CVIM continues to evolve, it remains committed to fostering innovation and collaboration to provide long-term sustainable solutions in the field of veterinary vaccine development and manufacturing.
Harnessing UK science and innovation
Professor Charlotte Watts, Chief Scientific Adviser at FCDO, said:
New vaccines continue to play a critical role in protecting poor farmers and their families from the threat they face from animal disease.
And as we’ve seen in the past few years, these threats can escalate rapidly and spread to all parts of the globe.
In its first year of operation the UK Centre for Veterinary Vaccine Innovation and Manufacturing has made impressive progress, harnessing the best of UK science and innovation, building new partnerships and networks, and establishing an exciting portfolio of cutting-edge programme that will pave the way for the development of vital new livestock vaccines.
Revolutionary vaccine development
Professor Guy Poppy, BBSRC interim Executive Chair, said:
The remarkable achievements of CVIM within its inaugural year underscore the vital role of collaborative, interdisciplinary efforts in advancing veterinary vaccine development.
The centre’s rapid progress in establishing robust operational frameworks and initiating pivotal projects is a testament to the UK’s commitment to addressing urgent global challenges in animal health and public safety.
CVIM is poised to revolutionise the landscape of veterinary vaccine development.
In doing so, it will strengthen the UK’s position as a global leader in bioscience innovation while significantly safeguarding global health and food security.
Professor Bryan Charleston FRS, Director of The Pirbright Institute, said:
We are very pleased with the progress in the first year of CVIM.
We have established partnerships with multinational and small biotech companies and academics to develop vaccine platforms that can be applied to control a wide range of infectious diseases in multiple species.
Visit the Centre for Veterinary Vaccine Innovation and Manufacturing website to find out more.
Top image: Credit: GavinD, E+ via Getty Images