The largest grant ever awarded by the EU in the field of animal health has been secured by the “Paravac” consortium, led by Moredun Research Institute in Edinburgh, in order to develop vaccines for worm parasites that infect livestock.

The largest grant ever awarded by the EU in the field of animal health has been secured by the “Paravac” consortium, led by Moredun Research Institute in Edinburgh, in order to develop vaccines for worm parasites that infect livestock.
 
Moredun Research InstituteThe €9 million (£7.45m) grant from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) research funding call, was announced last night (Tuesday 22 June) by Scottish cabinet secretary for rural affairs and the environment, Richard Lochhead.
 
The money will fund a series of projects from over 20 academic partners across the globe over the next three years. Three commercial partners (including Pfizer Animal Health) are also involved in this initiative with the role of developing candidate vaccines discovered by the academic partners into commercial products.
 
One of the specific aims of this grant will be to develop at least one prototype vaccine to the point of uptake by the commercial sector or through government/philanthropic agencies.
 
The award of this EU Framework 7 funding is a reflection of Moredun‘s international reputation for excellence in livestock science. Not only does it show that the institute’s ability to leverage external funding, but it highlights the excellent leadership capabilities of Moredun’s scientists such as David Knox – who has been appointed overall co-ordinator of the multi-million euro project.
 
Professor Julie FitzpatrickMoredun’s scientific director Julie Fitzpatrick said: “Parasitic disease remains a priority area for livestock science. Tools to control and prevent disease are urgently required, especially in the presence of rapidly emerging resistance to drugs used to control worms. Vaccines against parasitic roundworms, tapeworms and fluke are a very attractive option as they offer ‘green solutions’ to contribute to sustainable development of livestock, which will be essential for food security across the globe.”
 
John Jeffrey, chairman of Moredun Research Institute, added: “Moredun’s international reputation for livestock health research is only possible because of the investment by the Scottish Government, and especially RERAD, into maintaining the skills and facilities that are based at our site in Midlothian. I am delighted that Moredun can continue to deliver practical outputs that are needed by farmers, veterinary surgeons, processors, retailers, and the public, not only in Scotland but across the world.”

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