Nebraska Research Studies Confirm Efficacy of E. coli Vaccine
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
-- Significant reduction of E. coli O157:H7 in feedlot cattle reported --
BELLEVILLE ON, October 21, 2003 – Feedlot cattle vaccinated with an E. coli O157 vaccine in research studies during the summers of 2002 and 2003 showed a significant reduction of the deadly bacteria in their manure, according to University of Nebraska scientists who conducted the studies.
The 2003 study results are being released today by the University of Nebraska and Bioniche Life Sciences, commercialization partner in a strategic alliance that is developing the vaccine used in the Nebraska studies. Other alliance partners include the University of British Columbia, the Alberta Research Council and the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine & Infectious Disease Organization.
Vaccination of cattle in the University of Nebraska research feedlot reduced E. coli prevalence an average of 59 percent compared with unvaccinated cattle, reported university veterinary scientists, Drs. Rod Moxley and David Smith. E. coli prevalence averaged less than 11 percent for vaccinated cattle compared with 29 percent among unvaccinated cattle. At market weight, 84 days after vaccination, 19 percent of vaccinated cattle were shedding E. coli O157:H7 compared with nearly 41 percent of unvaccinated cattle.
“We have had many scientific challenges to overcome in dealing with the complexities of E. coli O157:H7,” said Dr. Dragan Rogan, Bioniche Vice President, Research and Development, “but these results have given us confidence that our goal is within reach – a vaccine that will effectively reduce the threat of this very dangerous pathogen.”
“Results of the University of Nebraska studies over the last two summers provide evidence that we have successfully developed a consistent, efficacious and commercially viable E. coli vaccine,” said Graeme McRae, President and CEO of Bioniche Life Sciences. “This is an important development for all participants in the food supply chain, as well as the health and environmental sectors, to help deal with the serious and growing risks of E. coli O157:H7 contamination of our food and water resources.”
Both the vaccine produced for the 2002 Nebraska study and the scaled-up vaccine produced by Bioniche for the 2003 study accurately mimicked the protein profile of the original prototype E. coli vaccine developed by Dr. Brett Finlay at the University of British Columbia. An earlier experimental vaccine with a protein profile that did not conform to the UBC prototype was used in a large Alberta feedlot study that began in 2001 but yielded inconclusive data.
“Considering the uniformly positive results of the recent Nebraska research studies, we believe it’s appropriate for Bioniche, as the lead commercialization partner in the strategic alliance, to begin planning for the regulatory reviews of our commercial vaccine candidate in the United States and Canada,” said Martin Warmelink, President of Bioniche Food Safety. “Given our confidence in the demonstrated efficacy of the product, we have good reason to believe that, pending fulfillment of the regulatory requirements, the world’s first E. coli O157 vaccine may be available to the market some time in 2004.”
The Nebraska Beef Council, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Bioniche Life Sciences have helped fund the E. coli vaccine research studies at the University of Nebraska. Bioniche has received financial support from the Government of Canada through its Technology Partnerships Canada program to advance development of an effective E. coli vaccine for cattle.