-second generation vaccine expected to be safer to make, with higher
BELLEVILLE, ON, March 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. (TSX:
BNC) (ASX: BNC), a research-based, technology-driven Canadian
biopharmaceutical company, today announced that it has received a
contribution of up to $500,000 from the National Research Council of
Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) for the Company's
research and development of a second generation E. coli O157 cattle vaccine. IRAP's support will offset salary costs and
contractor fees associated with the project for the next three years.
"We are pleased to receive this funding from IRAP," said Mr. Rick
Culbert, President, Bioniche One Health. "We have been working with Dr.
Brett Finlay at the University of British Columbia on the development
of a second generation E. coli O157 cattle vaccine, which is expected to be safer to make, more readily
produced with higher yields than the first generation vaccine, and may
have the potential to cross-protect against other E. coli serotypes."
While development of the second generation vaccine continues in coming
years, the Company's first generation E. coli O157 cattle vaccine - Econiche® - is fully registered in Canada and is available through Canadian
veterinarians. In Australia, although not yet registered, the vaccine
is approved for importation. In the UK, the product has received
Special Treatment Certificate authorization, allowing veterinary
surgeons to use the vaccine on visitor open farms.
Human illnesses stemming from E. coli O157 have been linked to beef products (particularly ground beef),
vegetables, fruit, juice, water, and contact with animals at petting
zoos, farms, and fairs. Approximately two-thirds of all illnesses are
associated with contaminated produce and water or direct contact, while
one-third are associated with contaminated beef. When humans are
infected with E. coli O157, symptoms begin within 3-10 days. These can range from diarrhea and
fever to severe bloody diarrhea to Haemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) and
death. Long-term studies following patients infected with E. coli O157 have documented secondary illnesses due to hypertension,
cardiovascular and kidney disease as well as arthritis.
Approximately 100,000 cases of human infection with E. coli O157 are reported each year in North America. More than 20,000 of these
cases are seen in Canada, where the cost of primary and long-term
illnesses has been estimated at $240 million per year.
"There is compelling evidence to show that immunization of cattle
against E. coli O157 will reduce the shedding of this deadly pathogen, and several
modeling studies have been done to demonstrate that human illness would
be reduced as a result of this reduction in shedding," added Mr.
Culbert. "Since E. coli O157 does not make cattle ill, the rationale for cattle vaccination is
to reduce the amount of E. coli O157being shed into food, water, and the environment and, in turn, to reduce
exposure by people."
The Company will also explore the ability of the second generation
vaccine to cross-protect against other E. coli serotypes. Although E. coli O157 is the most common serotype causing human infection in North
America, other serotypes, including O26, O111, O103, O121, O45 and
O145, have been identified in other jurisdictions.
Both Econiche® and the second generation E. coli O157 vaccine will be produced in the Company's Animal Health and Food
Safety Vaccine Manufacturing Centre in Belleville, which is currently
undergoing validation to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards
for global production. GMP validation is now expected to be completed
by summer, 2013.
About Bioniche One Health
Bioniche One Health is responsible for researching, developing,
manufacturing and marketing veterinary biopharmaceutical products to
improve public health and the environment. The leading initiative for
this division has been the development and commercialization of a
cattle vaccine to reduce the spread of the E. coli O157 bacterium, which can be deadly to humans. The vaccine - Econiche® - is fully registered in Canada, is approved for importation into
Australia, and has received Special Treatment Certificate authorization
for UK veterinary surgeons to use on visitor open farms.
About Bioniche Life Sciences Inc.
Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. is a research-based, technology-driven
Canadian biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery,
development, manufacturing, and marketing of proprietary and innovative
products for human and animal health markets worldwide. The
fully-integrated company employs more than 200 skilled personnel and
has three operating divisions: Human Health, Animal Health, and One
Health. The Company's primary goal is to develop and commercialize
products that advance human or animal health and increase shareholder
For more information, please visit www.Bioniche.com.
Except for historical information, this news release may contain
forward-looking statements that reflect the Company's current
expectation regarding future events. These forward-looking statements
involve risk and uncertainties, which may cause, but are not limited
to, changing market conditions, the successful and timely completion of
clinical studies, the establishment of corporate alliances, the impact
of competitive products and pricing, new product development,
uncertainties related to the regulatory approval process, and other
risks detailed from time to time in the Company's ongoing quarterly and
SOURCE Bioniche Life Sciences Inc.