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RNS Number : 1310C
Eco Animal Health Group PLC
15 October 2020
 

 

ECO Animal Health Group plc 

(AIM: EAH) 

ECO Animal Health signs two porcine respiratory and reproductive syndrome virus ("PRRSV") vaccine development and licencing deals 

ECO Animal Health Ltd ("ECO"), a wholly owned subsidiary of ECO Animal Health Group plc, is pleased to announce that it has entered two worldwide exclusive research partnerships to develop novel vaccines for use in pigs. These two new partnerships with The Pirbright Institute in the UK and The Vaccine Group ("TVG") reinforce ECO's commitment to research and development focused on diseases of economic importance in pigs and poultry.

The first collaboration will, over an 18 month period, utilise innovative technologies at Pirbright to develop killed PRRSV vaccine candidates capable of entering a full development programme and providing immunity against multiple strains of the virus. A killed PRRSV vaccine would offer an attractive alternative to the current generation of live vaccines, which are only partially effective against different strains and suffer from safety constraints owing to the potential for the live vaccine virus to revert back to an infectious form.

The second collaboration will test vaccine candidates at Pirbright created using TVG technology to insert non-infectious PRRSV genes supplied by Pirbright into a benign herpesvirus, which then stimulates the immune system when delivered into animals. Vaccines that use herpesviruses as their base have been shown to provoke particularly strong reactions from T cells, which are a vital part of the antiviral response. It is expected that the initial phase to develop candidate vaccines capable of entering a full development programme will be up to 18 months.

The two PRRSV species (type-1 and type-2) are responsible for one of the most economically damaging diseases to the global pig industry, costing European pig farmers an estimated €1.5 billion a year and those in the US approximately $600 million.

Professor Simon Graham, Group Leader of PRRS Immunology at The Pirbright Institute, states: "Creating  a killed vaccine that can prevent the spread of multiple strains would provide flexibility in tackling outbreaks as well as an improved safety profile, both vital for effective control of the disease. The exciting herpes virus based vaccine project takes a novel approach to addressing the urgent requirement for improved vaccines to combat the global spread of PRRSV."

TVG Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Associate Professor Dr Michael Jarvis observes: "This is an exciting opportunity that brings together critical basic science and translational expertise towards addressing this major infectious disease in pigs."  

Commenting Marc Loomes, CEO of ECO Animal Health Group plc, said: "We are delighted to have partnered with The  Pirbright Institute once again to develop  novel vaccines, enabling the protection of pigs whilst reducing the risks associated with the use of live vaccines for a disease of global economic importance. Our collaboration with The Pirbright Institute and TVG leverages the deep scientific expertise of The Pirbright Institute and TVG's novel herpesvirus vector technology in an exciting new approach to PRRSV vaccination".

 

 

 

 

Contacts: 

ECO Animal Health Group plc

Marc Loomes (CEO)

Christopher Wilks (CFO)

 

020 8447 8899

 

IFC Advisory

Graham Herring

Zach Cohen

 

020 3934 6630

 

N+1 Singer (Nominated Adviser & Joint Broker)

Mark Taylor

Peter Steel

Alex Bond

 

020 7496 3000

Peel Hunt LLP (Joint Broker)

James Steel

Dr Christopher Golden

020 7418 8900

 

 

 

 

The Pirbright Institute                                                                     

Kimberley Stirk                                                                    01483 231120

The Vaccine Group                         

Andrew Johnson                                                                  07464 546 025 

About ECO Animal Health Ltd 

ECO Animal Health Group plc ("ECO" or "the "GROUP") researches, develops and commercialises products for livestock. Our business strategy is to generate shareholder value by achieving the maximum sales potential from the existing product portfolio whilst investing in Research and Development ("R&D") for new products, particularly vaccines, and seeking to in-license new products

About The Pirbright Institute

The Pirbright Institute is a world leading centre of excellence in research and surveillance of virus diseases of farm animals and viruses that spread from animals to humans.

Based in the UK and receiving strategic funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), the Institute works to enhance capability to contain, control and eliminate these economically and medically important diseases through highly innovative fundamental and applied bioscience.

 

About The Vaccine Group

The Vaccine Group, a spin out from the University of Plymouth, is developing vaccines based on benign forms of herpesviruses. These are a group of viruses found in all animals, including humans. The vaccines are created by inserting a non-infectious region of DNA from the pathogen being targeted into the herpesvirus. This vaccine then stimulates an immune response when delivered into animals. The Company and its international partners have so far been backed by more than £9 million in grant funding from the US, UK, and Chinese governments. 

 

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