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AgResults to launch FMD vaccine project for East Africa

AgResults is going to follow up the success of its ongoing brucellosis vaccine development competition with a project focused on developing a vaccine for foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).

The Brucellosis Vaccine Prize competition – AgResults' $30 million multi-donor mission, implemented by GALVmed and launched in 2016 – has now been open for over two years and is starting to see progress in the R&D stakes.

Now, AgResults is aiming to launch a similar competition-based initiative for FMD in 2019. The project is expected to last around six to eight years and is focused on producing an improved FMD vaccine suitable for use in East Africa – a region that includes Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.

Eligible competitors will begin development of the vaccine during stage one of the project, which has a duration of two to four years. Stage two of the competition will last around four-and-a-half years and it will see companies increase production and sales of the vaccine to participating East African governments and private sector buyers.

The competition will incentivize vaccine manufacturers to develop and produce an improved FMD vaccine tailored to East African requirements, while also encouraging the development of a private sector model for buying and distribution that will complement public sector efforts. The competition will support government and private sector parties in combatting FMD through higher purchase volumes, by contributing to the cost per dose paid to the manufacturer.

The end goal of the project is to establish a long-term market for manufacturers and to increase the availability of affordable East Africa-specific FMD vaccines for the public and private sector.

Improving the quality of available vaccines while lowering prices will encourage government and private sector buyers to increase the volume of vaccines purchased. This in turn will create a larger, more attractive market that will encourage vaccine manufacturers to remain in the region. The aim is that with increased availability and use of FMD vaccines, smallholder farmers' livestock health will improve, leading to increases in net incomes.

AgResults stated: "Selected competitor companies (expected to be large and mid-sized animal health pharmaceutical companies with experience in development and marketing of FMD vaccines) will be eligible to receive contribution to the cost per dose in accordance with the competition rules for selling the project-approved vaccine in participating East African countries.

"The first competitor that successfully registers an FMD vaccine in East Africa – within two to four years of the product development start date – and is determined by the judging panel to have met the target project profile, will trigger the project implementation phase. During this phase, companies with an authorized registration will be eligible to receive the cost-share advance market commitment prize during each year of the competition."

FMD vaccine projects seeking inclusion in the competition must achieve registration through the Mutual Recognition Procedure and pass a Pan African Veterinary Vaccine Center of African Union or the World Reference Lab for FMD test for vaccine quality.

AgResults is a collaborative initiative established in 2010 between the governments of Australia, Canada, the UK and the US, as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

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