Manufacturing News, Medical Manufacturing, New South Wales

First ever NSW manufactured livestock vaccine has been developed

An mRNA vaccine for border disease virus (BDV) has been successfully manufactured for the first time in New South Wales, thanks to a fast-tracked NSW Government pilot project.

The cutting-edge emergency animal disease vaccine is a part of the NSW Government’s investment in the biosecurity of NSW. 

Minister for Agriculture, Regional and Western NSW, Tara Moriarty said the capability to produce vaccines against emergency animal diseases is critical.

“Developing local capacity to produce vaccines against emergency animal diseases is a critical priority for Australian agricultural industries and the economy,” said Moriarty. 

This is one element of the NSW Government’s comprehensive plan to boost biosecurity across NSW to avoid negatively impacting the state’s $21.2 billion primary industries sector. 

The BDV vaccine was manufactured in Sydney by the UNSW RNA Institute after first being developed by US-based biotechnology leader, Tiba Biotech. 

Other contributors to the BDV vaccine include the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI), the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Meat & Livestock Australia and the NSW RNA Pilot Facility.    

The learnings from this successful pilot project are now being applied to the development of vaccines to keep Australia free from lumpy skin disease (LSD) and foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). 

“Now we have success with a virus which exists in Australia, we are working to establish a vaccine pipeline for priority animal diseases, including lumpy skin disease and foot-and-mouth disease, to ensure Australia can manufacture vaccines during an emergency response,” said Moriarty.

Economic costs of a large multi-state outbreak of FMD alone have been estimated at more than $80 billion over 10 years Australia-wide.

This cost is why the NSW Government is working with state, territory and national governments and animal industries to safeguard livestock from these key biosecurity threats.

The project team are now investigating whether protective antigens, identified by the CFIA, work against LSD.  

All work with live viruses is currently being safely conducted overseas. 

NSW DPI scientists at the Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute work on establishing the immune response, demonstrating animal safety and optimising the formulation and dose.

Work so far indicates that the test LSD mRNA vaccine is quickly metabolised and cleared from the animal.  

Australian regulatory authorities have very strict standards to demonstrate that the vaccine will be cleared from the animal very rapidly and that there is no safety risk to people.

As biosecurity matters increase in regularity, complexity and severity, this vaccine preparedness works to safeguard the future of NSW primary industries.

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