New E. Coli Cattle Vaccine Authorized For Field Use In Canada

CANADA - Bioniche Life Sciences Inc., a research-based, technology-driven Canadian biopharmaceutical company, today received authorization from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) to distribute its E. coli O157:H7 cattle vaccine to Canadian veterinarians under a Permit to Release Veterinary Biologics as specified in the Canadian Health of Animal Regulations. This authorization equates to what is referred to as a "conditional license" in the U.S. This is the first vaccine technology for control of E. coli O157:H7 to be authorized for field use by a regulator globally. The vaccine is indicated for the reduction of shedding of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria in cattle.
calendar icon 26 December 2006
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"The Bioniche E. coli O157:H7 vaccine, developed through a partnership with the University of British Columbia, the Vaccine and Infectious Diseases Organization (VIDO) at the University of Saskatchewan and the Alberta Research Council, is a world's first," said Graeme McRae, President & CEO of Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. "Bioniche believes that this vaccine will be an important factor in helping to reduce the prevalence of this toxic bacterium, first implicated in meat contamination and now being increasingly identified as a contaminant of produce. CFIA's approval gives the Company a clear and manageable pathway to full licensure."

In order to progress from a Permit to Release Veterinary Biologics to a full license, the CFIA indicated that Bioniche must provide additional data confirming reduction in E. coli O157:H7 shedding by vaccinated animals. The Company believes that this requirement will be met in 2007.

"This vaccine will ensure that Canadian cattle producers continue to provide a safe product for Canadian consumers," said Dr. Lorne Babiuk, Director of the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) and Canada Research Chair in Vaccinology and Biotechnology in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. "More importantly, the reduction of E. coli shedding into the environment will have far-reaching consequences regarding environmental contamination. The recent outbreaks of E. coli infection from consumption of vegetables is an example of additional benefits of such a vaccine. The key discovery to making this vaccine a reality was made by Dr. Brett Finlay at the University of British Columbia, when he deciphered the mechanisms by which E. coli attaches to and infects animals. Using this knowledge, it was possible to target the specific proteins of the bacterium for use in the vaccine."

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