Argentine Company looks to license a vaccine developed by researchers of Universidad de Concepcion, Chile

Representatives of Vetanco met with university authorities to discuss a license contract for a recombinant vaccine, with the aim of marketing it in all American countries.

Four professionals from Vetanco Argentina, headed by its president Jorge Winokur, visited the University of Concepción, Chile, to discuss the details of a license to produce and market a bioproduct developed by researchers from the Faculty of Biological Sciences, and the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences.

The project, developed between 2015 and 2017, currently has the support of INNBIO to coordinate its transfer to the market. “Together with Dr. Álvaro Ruiz, Director of the Department of Pathology and Preventive Medicine of the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences, we identified diseases with impact in the pig sector,” said Dr. Jorge Toledo, project director. “Proliferative enteropathy causes huge losses in the industry. We found it´s a space where we can provide a new proposal,” he said.

The university designed an experimental vaccine, up to the production at pilot level. They also performed initial proof of concept tests in animals and filed national and international patents. “In parallel, we are in a process of technology transfer to Vetanco, which is a multinational animal health company based in Argentina, to manufacture and commercialize this development for all America,” says Dr. Raquel Montesino, project director.

“It is important to thank Conicyt, the entity that financed most of the project through its Fondef IDEA program,” said Dr. Toledo, who extended thanks to the team of researchers, students and technicians participating. “Collaborative and multidisciplinary work is key in applied research. In this case, the interaction of researchers from the University of Santiago de Chile and McGill University in Montreal, Canada, joined to the efforts of the University of Concepción”,  he said.

UdeC solutions for the world

The conversations with Vetanco began in October 2017, through a process coordinated with INNBIO. Sandra Araya, director of OTL, Office for License Transfer at the University, stressed the importance of this milestone: “Although negotiations took time and are not yet concluded, this face-to-face meeting between the teams allowed everyone to understand what stage of our project development. As a team of OTL UdeC, with the collaboration of INNBIO and the researchers themselves, we are confident that we can take the negotiation to a good place”, he said.

The president of Vetanco, Jorge Winokur, highlighted the work developed at the University, from research to the approach to the market. “We´ve been following publications of their researchers looking for alternatives for innovations and developments. We are pleasantly surprised, in addition, for their openness to discuss contractual issues and look for flexible solutions where there could be an obstacle”.

Also joined Winokur for this visit, Jeff Hall PhD, Senior project manager for biologicals at Vetanco USA, Inc.; Demian Bellido PhD, researcher at Bioinnovo SA (Vetanco + INTA) and by the Head of the Vetanco SABiotech laboratory, Dr. Emanuel Gumina.

Today producers have antibiotics to control proliferative enteropathy, so the vaccine created by the UdeC researchers will be another tool to add. But, “the technology of intensive production without antibiotics is a trend all over the world. This vaccine could be of great potential, considering that in Vetanco we export our products to 37 countries”, said Winokur.

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