DSM Nutritional Products has entered into a collaboration with Merial Limited under a Development and Option to License Agreement to develop animal health vaccines using DSM's proprietary algal expression system.
For decades, the production of vaccines for both animal and human diseases has relied on the use of complex production processes. Alternative methods, such as the one being explored by Merial and DSM using microbial algae as the growth platform, may present a faster and more efficient production method.
"We are pleased to join with Merial on this important project that we expect will validate the algal expression system as a viable alternative to egg or cell culture-based vaccines, which would offer important benefits for animal vaccine production," said Peter Nitze, President of the Nutritional Lipids division within DSM Nutritional Products.
As part of the collaboration, Merial will provide R&D funding to DSM to support DSM's costs of developing animal vaccine antigens using this algal expression system. DSM also would be eligible to earn milestone payments, license fees, and royalties on product sales if the collaboration is successful.
Following the successful production of an animal vaccine product under this agreement, and prior to commercialisation, DSM and Merial will either enter into a commercial supply agreement for the production of the vaccine antigen or DSM will receive a technology transfer fee to convey the manufacturing rights to Merial.