Saskatchewan lab first to produce new swine vaccine

    SASKATOON, Jan. 15 /CNW/ - A new swine vaccine, developed in Québec, will
be produced in Saskatoon by the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) beginning
this month. This is the first live animal vaccine in the past decade to be
developed, validated, and produced in Canada.
    Prevtec Microbia Inc., a Québec-based animal health company, and SRC
recently received Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) approval to produce
and market Coliprotec, a vaccine that controls a common disorder in pigs.
    "This new vaccine can provide some comfort for farmers who face losing a
good portion of their swine population to disease," Minister responsible for
SRC Lyle Stewart said. "The opportunity to produce animal vaccines will help
bring new business to Saskatchewan and new health care products to livestock
producers in this province and throughout Canada."
    In partnership with Prevtec, SRC carried out the pre-license serial
testing work in its Biosafety Level 2 Fermentation Pilot Plant in order to
secure CFIA regulatory approval to commercialize the vaccine.
    "We are very proud of the achievement of another Saskatchewan first," SRC
president and CEO Dr. Laurier Schramm said. "We are now the only contract
research organization in Canada with this type of regulatory approval to
produce animal vaccines."
    "Coliprotec will dramatically help the swine industry in Canada," Prevtec
president and CEO Michel Fortin said. "There has been a strong demand from
industry for this type of vaccine. It effectively controls post-weaning
diarrhea in swine, a common disorder that can spread easily and result in
major financial losses for a producer. About one pig farm in four will, at
some point, be affected by the disease. It may be responsible for a mortality
rate as high as 10 per cent in affected populations."
    Approximately 30 million piglets are raised in Canada (2.6 million in
Saskatchewan) each year. Nationally, pig exports are responsible for economic
activity of approximately $7.5 billion annually and about 42,000 jobs.
    The vaccine was developed by Drs. John Morris Fairbrother and Eric Nadeau
of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Montreal. Prevtec
is a spin-off company that resulted from this research. It was established in
2005 to develop technologies for the prevention and control of bacterial
infections for the animal health and agri-food sectors.
    Images of SRC's Biosafety Level 2 Fermentation Pilot Plant are available
upon request.

For further information:

For further information: Karen Potter, Communications Specialist,
Saskatchewan Research Council, Saskatoon, SK, (306) 933-7089; Michel Fortin,
President and CEO, Prevtec Microbia Inc., Saint-Hyacinthe, QC, (514) 891-0404

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