Université de Sherbrooke and Bayer join forces to develop a vaccine
Sherbrooke, le 30 mai 2016 – For more than seven years, Professor François Malouin has been developing a vaccine against bovine mastitis. Today, the result of that research is a license agreement with the multinational Bayer that may well revolutionize the dairy industry around the world.
The Université de Sherbrooke (UdeS) is proud to announce that its research commercialization firm TransferTech Sherbrooke has signed a license agreement with the multinational Bayer to finalize the development of a vaccine against bovine mastitis, one of the most harmful endemic diseases for dairy herds around the world. The impact of the disease costs billions of dollars annually.
Bovine mastitis in brief
Bovine mastitis is an inflammation of the mammary gland in cows, generally caused by a bacterial infection. Staphylococcus aureus is most often the bacteria culprit. It is contagious, transmitting easily from one cow to another in a herd. It causes persistent and chronic infections, which can last for months.
The economic impact of bovine mastitis on dairy production is enormous: in the order of $110 million per year in Quebec and $400 million across Canada.
Developed by Professor François Malouin and his team at the Université de Sherbrooke’s Department of Biology, the vaccine offers a previously unexplored approach to controlling proliferation of the infection, which is caused by the very virulent Staphylococcus aureus bacteria.
“Our partners at Bayer immediately recognized the vaccine’s potential,” said Professor Malouin. “For this reason, the company became involved in finalizing its development and, possibly, commercializing it in the next few years.”
UdeS welcomes the opportunity to partner with Bayer to advance research on bovine mastitis, a problem on which many other teams are working around the world. “This is eloquent proof of the quality of research produced in our laboratories,” said Jacques Beauvais, Vice-President of Research, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship at the Université de Sherbrooke.
Major support for the institutional strategy
In addition, this agreement fits perfectly with the Université de Sherbrooke’s innovation, partnership, and entrepreneurship strategy. “We want to demonstrate that our exploratory research can lead to very concrete benefits, with practical applications that have positive results for the public,” said Mr. Beauvais.
This discovery would not have been possible without the contribution of Céline Ster, Marianne Allard, and Julie Côté Gravel (Université de Sherbrooke), the collaboration of scientists from the Université de Montréal’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, particularly Pierre Lacasse, and funding from the Canadian Bovine Mastitis and Milk Quality Research Network.
– 30 –
Jean-François Duval, Media Relations Officer
Communications Services | Université de Sherbrooke
819-821-8000, ext. 65472 | Jean-Francois.Duval@USherbrooke.ca