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Centre legacy: Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise - PREVENT

Funded 2008-2017


NCE contributions
$15 million

Number of partners

Partner contributions
$18 million

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Fast-tracking the development of life-saving vaccines

Despite Canada’s global leadership in vaccine discovery, early-stage vaccine technologies emerging from our academic institutions and biotech companies are often stalled in preclinical and early clinical development due to insufficient funding and significant risk of failure. Canada has capacity within its academic institutions to conduct pre-clinical and early phase animal studies but the resources are spread across the country. In 2008, Canada took steps to leverage this dispersed infrastructure and expertise to fast-track veterinary and human vaccine development for diseases of major public health concern, and to address the commercialization challenges faced by Canada’s biotechnology industry.

In 2008, the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO) (Saskatoon), the Canadian Center for Vaccinology (Halifax) and the BC Centre for Disease Control (Vancouver) pooled their expertise and resources to create the Pan-Provincial Vaccine Enterprise (PREVENT). PREVENT conducted animal studies and proof-of-concept clinical trials for promising early-stage vaccine candidates that were stalled in development at academic research organizations and biotech companies. By lowering the risks, sharing the costs and adding significant value at critical stages of vaccine development, PREVENT was able to license out the rights of high-priority vaccine products to industry partners for late-stage clinical trials and commercialization.

Among the results

  • By working with Vaxent and the University of Tennessee Health Science Centre, PREVENT initiated a Group A Streptococcus (GAS) vaccine Phase I clinical trial in September 2015. The availability of a sage and effective multi-valent GAS vaccine could address a huge unmet public health demand, preventing a wide variety of potentially life-threatening complications and diseases in humans worldwide attributable to this organism.
  • PREVENT completed a Phase 1 clinical trial of a seasonal flu vaccine (PAL-FLU) and gathered data from the trial to provide a fertile ground for generating evidence regarding safety, tolerability and immune response.
  • The elk challenge study for the Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) vaccine conducted at VIDO-InterVac was completed in June 2015. PREVENT also demonstrated that the vaccine is capable of inducing a robust antibody response in mice, sheep and cervids, and could be effective against Bovine Spongiform encephalopathy in cattle, scrapie in sheep and Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in humans.
  • PREVENT and VIDO-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac Saskatoon) signed a collaborative agreement with the South China United Vaccine Institute and the Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Disease to jointly develop a Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) vaccine that could be used in a combination product for influenza, Parainfluenza 3 and whooping cough.