A global partnership to speed development

Vaccines for orphan livestock diseases


To tackle the vaccine formulation challenge, ILRI is doing two things.

  1. Building state-of-the-art laboratories at its Nairobi campus and pursuing collaborations that will produce a refined understanding of protective immune responses and knowledge of how to measure them and accelerate the testing of prototype vaccines.
  2. Initiating a consortium of public- and private-sector partners confronting the same vaccine challenge to catalyze joint learning. Meetings which ILRI convened in September 2006 and April 2007 in the UK with the world’s leading vaccine development groups explored the possibility of building an international network of vaccine R & D laboratories working on different pathogen-host systems.

These meetings led to the creation of Livestock Vaccine Enterprise Initiative, a platform focusing on cross-cutting issues inhibiting vaccine development. This platform will accelerate the pre-commercial development of novel livestock vaccines. It is envisaged that a consortium approach, incorporating major global public and private sector organizations involved in livestock vaccine development, will increase the speed with which vaccine research groups get to the ‘proof of concept’ phase. The network will add value to existing small-scale collaborations through more rapid and systematic testing of novel antigen delivery strategies, efficient reagent and information exchange, sharing of facilities and the increased power of collective advocacy of benefits of livestock vaccine research to stakeholders.

Specifically, the platform will:

  • Facilitate work at the interface of animal and human health technologies.
  • Aggregate the skills, knowledge and resources of the vaccine community to accelerate development of novel vaccines.
  • Leverage knowledge and skills of the network to secure access to intellectual property, venture capital and development funding needed to bring new products to market.
  • Advance the research activities of all in the network through systematic sharing of ideas, knowledge, skills and findings.

Participants at the UK meetings chose three major diseases afflicting African livestock for the new platform to start its collaborative work on—theileriosis, a fatal protozoan disease of cattle; African swine fever, a viral disease of pigs; and bovine tuberculosis, a zoonotic bacterial disease with cattle and wildlife serving as reservoirs for the causative pathogen. A team is being formed around each disease.

Advanced research institutes conducting livestock and related human vaccine research
Private companies researching animal vaccines
National livestock research institutes in Africa
African departments of veterinary services

We are looking to bring diverse resources to bear on the heavy disease burden imposed on the world’s poorest communities. To pursue vaccine re¬search tackling the most intractable and complex disease organisms afflicting farmers of the developing world, we need to harness greater public- and private-sector collaboration. ILRI is looking for intellectual as well as financial partners with whom to conduct this work. If you are interested to collaborate or want more information, please contact any of the ILRI staff below.

Phil Toye: ILRI veterinary immunologist, Nairobi,
p.toye@cgiar.org, +254 20 422 3463

Vish Nene: ILRI director of Theme 4: Biotechnology, Nairobi,
v.nene@cgiar.org, +254 20 422 3370.

Bruce Scott: ILRI director of partnerships and communications, Nairobi,
b.scott@cgiar.org, +254 20 422 3205.

John McDermott: ILRI deputy director general for research, Nairobi
j.mcdermott@cgiar.org, +254 20 422 3207.

Carlos Seré: ILRI director general, Nairobi,
c.sere@cgiar.org, +254 20 422 3201.

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