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Renaissance BioScience, VIDO target two global pig diseases

One project to examine orally delivered yeast-based vaccines for PEDV and PRRSV.

February 1, 2024

2 Min Read
National Pork Board

Renaissance BioScience, a leader in bioengineering, is pleased to announce that it has strategically partnered with the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, a world leader in infectious disease research and vaccine development. This collaboration was awarded $600,000 by the Saskatchewan Agricultural Development Fund and will target two diseases, as well as immune system function, in pigs and piglets using Renaissance’s cutting-edge yeast-based technology.

Heather Wilson will coordinate the two distinct projects at VIDO. Wilson is a prominent scientist and program leader in vaccine formulation and delivery and was chosen as one of the most Influential Women in Canadian Agriculture in 2023.

In one project, RBSC and VIDO will pioneer orally delivered yeast-based vaccines for porcine epidemic diarrheal virus and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus. These diseases pose significant threats to the global swine industry, leading to multi-billion-dollar losses annually.

The second project addresses gut health, immunity and overall growth in piglets. Striving to alleviate the overuse of traditional antibiotics, RBSC and VIDO will work on an orally delivered yeast that secretes peptides, zinc and essential amino acids into the pig’s digestive system. This innovative approach aims to mitigate stress, protect against infections, preserve gut health and promote lean muscle growth.

Both projects aim to develop cost-effective, safe, non-invasive health solutions that can be conveniently included in the pig’s feed.

This yeast-based approach aims to enhance the health and productivity of agricultural animals, contributing to a more sustainable and efficient food solution for our growing global population. Yeast has the benefit of cost-effective production and delivery of biological molecules, acting as a “suitcase” to carry the bioactive molecules through the harsh intestinal environment. Yeast can also protect bioactive molecules in the harsh environment of the animal feed production process and has the advantage of being a common component of livestock feed, making this technology easy to adopt in real-life applications.

“Renaissance is pleased to be working with the world-leading researchers at VIDO on these exciting animal health projects," said John Husnik, Renaissance’s CSO and Office of the CEO. "Gut health is an important commercial challenge in livestock and human diseases, and these projects will allow us to illuminate how our yeast-based technology can be used to address many different gut health and immune support challenges.”

“We are enthusiastic about working with Renaissance and its highly experienced yeast experts and technologies to address these vital livestock health concerns," said Wilson. "This yeast platform technology holds significant promise in improving animal health, and we look forward to getting started on these projects.”

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