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Canadian Gov Provides $25 Million For Cutting Edge, Vaccine Laboratory

by 5m Editor
4 January 2007, at 2:57pm

CANADA - Today, the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health, the Honourable Carol Skelton, Minister of National Revenue, and Parliamentary Secretary David Anderson announced that Canada`s New Government will invest in an ambitious new vaccine research and development facility at the University of Saskatchewan which will significantly enhance Canada's capacity to develop vaccines for both humans and animals.

The International Vaccine Centre (InterVac) will be the first facility of its kind in the world, unique in its focus on vaccine development for both animal and human pathogens. It will be fully equipped to act as a Level 3 high-containment large animal vaccine testing facility with facilities to house up to 180 cows or 5000 chickens.

Nearly 80 per cent of emerging infectious diseases affect both animals and humans, posing threats to the health of Canadians and our livestock industry. Avian Influenza and West Nile are two examples of these kinds of diseases. When completed, InterVac will be one of the largest vaccine research labs in North America with leading edge facilities unavailable elsewhere on the continent.

"We are pleased to announce that Canada's New Government will be contributing additional funding of up to $25 million to the University of Saskatchewan for the creation of the InterVac facilities," Minister Clement said. "Research and development done by InterVac will help control existing infectious diseases while also preparing Canada for future public health risks. InterVac will also provide parallel capacity to other labs, for rapid vaccine development."

"Today's investment in InterVac builds on Saskatchewan's excellence in agriculture and health research and continues to diversify the provincial economy," said Minister Skelton. "This is also an investment in the innovators, researchers and achievers who will lead Saskatchewan to the forefront of health sciences in Canada and in today's global economy."

"Supporting research and development that benefits both human and animal safety is a priority of this government," said David Anderson. "By protecting Canadians and our livestock industry from diseases, we create benefits for our own health, the food supply, producers and our economy."

InterVac will be one of the largest vaccine research and development laboratories in North America. Construction of InterVac's facilities is expected to begin in Spring 2007 and be completed in three years. The laboratory will be owned and operated by the University of Saskatchewan.

"InterVac has been designed specifically to address diseases affecting both humans and animals which account for 80 per cent of all emerging infectious diseases," said Peter MacKinnon, President of the University of Saskatchewan. "By investing in this national facility, the federal government is augmenting the network that will be necessary in managing future outbreaks."

The InterVac project was developed by the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO), a non-profit organization owned by the University of Saskatchewan.

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5m Editor