The COVID-19 pandemic, caused by an infectious disease of animal origin (zoonosis), and the recent wave of avian influenza impacting Europe, have highlighted the need to build knowledge of the potential risks for the emergence of new epidemics, as well as the necessity to either prevent them or improve control solutions. For over 40 years, INRAE, led by the Carnot France Futur Elevage Institute and Ceva, the leading French-based veterinary biopharmaceutical company, have been conducting joint projects to develop new pharmaceuticals and vaccines for farm animals (poultry, pigs, ruminants).
The existing partnership in addition to licensing INRAE technologies, involves many forms of collaboration, including exchange of laboratory personnel, testing of anti-infective treatments and vaccines and several joint research projects - the European H2020 PIGS program - Program for Innovative Global Prevention of Streptococcus Suis - scheduled to be completed in 2021. The VISIONS project (tick vaccination), MARDISHED project (for the protection of Marek's disease on poultry farms) and the Master 1&2 training program IDOH (Infectious Diseases and One Health) involving 36 academies and companies and financed by the EU (Erasmus fund) since 2017.
"This is a great example of the type of partnership with the socio-economic world that our research institute is keen to develop. Our strengthened partnership with Ceva should enable us to accelerate the development of innovative vaccine solutions and other innovations for the welfare of farm animals." Philippe Mauguin, INRAE Chair and CEO
The two share a common vision of how to transform current farming practices to be as sustainable and animal welfare-friendly. This agreement provides a framework for action priorities in terms of research, innovation and economic development, and intensifies their interactions in two areas:
Area 1: Diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases
● Early detection/diagnosis of diseases (precision breeding and artificial intelligence, "bedside" diagnosis)
● Vaccines and immunostimulants
● Antibiotics and alternative treatments (pre-probiotics, bacteriophages, etc.)
Area 2: Optimization of production and animal welfare
● Optimization of reproduction (fertility, fecundity) and milk production
● Improvement of animal welfare (behaviour/pheromones)
"Ten years ago, Ceva committed to become a 'One Health' company. The current covid crisis has made us aware that no single person, entity or country will be able to protect their health without better cooperation. Any change will therefore depend on new forms of collaboration between private and public institutions, developed and emerging economies, human and animal health. Faced with this urgency to act, we look forward to expanding our partnership with INRAE to develop innovative solutions or the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. Our initiatives will contribute to improving interactions between animal, human and plant health, while respecting the future of our planet."
Dr Marc Prikazsky, Ceva Santé Animale CEO