Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Scotland start-up aims to commercialize E. coli vaccine to prevent foodborne illness


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: October 2nd, 2019

A start-up from the Roslin Institute at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland aims to commercialize an E. coli vaccine for cattle designed to prevent life-threatening illnesses in humans.

Roslin Technologies has signed a licensing agreement with the Roslin Institute, the Moredun Research Institute and Scotland’s Rural College to obtain the vaccine, which prevents the E. coli strain O157:H7 from spreading among cattle without causing harm to the animals. By reducing the presence of E. coli in cattle, the vaccine could decrease the risk of life-threatening foodborne illness in humans contracted through the consumption of contaminated dairy, meat and other products.

Under the licensing agreement, Roslin Technologies will perform a validation trial in 2020 in Nebraska to discover whether the vaccine prevents shedding of the bacteria among cattle, and whether it is viable for commercial use.

“The biggest market for this vaccine is in the USA and South America. To be commercially viable, one has to show the vaccine works in their systems,” says Tom McNeilly of the Moredun Research Institute. “We have a wonderful collaboration with the USDA, and they’ve agreed to run a field trial in Nebraska with the help of Roslin Technologies.”

Professor David Gally of the Roslin Institute comments, “I’m delighted that Roslin Technologies has invested in the vaccine, as it allows the chance for what’s been over a decade of work, investment and research to go to the next stage. It means we can build collaboration with U.S. partners to understand how the vaccine works and hopefully provide further commercial development and investment opportunities for Roslin Technologies and other commercial companies in this space.”

Source: Roslin Institute

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