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Leverkusen, Germany, and Quebec, Canada, May 30, 2016 – Bayer and TransferTech Sherbrooke, the corporate entity responsible for commercializing the innovations emerging from the Université de Sherbrooke and its affiliated institutions, have signed a global license agreement to advance a novel vaccine candidate discovered at Université de Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada, to help protect dairy cattle from mastitis caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus.
Mastitis is a complex infectious disease and the most common and costly production disease on dairy farms worldwide. The disease is present in the vast majority of dairy herds, with 10-15 percent of all clinical mastitis infections due to S. aureus. Mastitis negatively impacts animal welfare and is associated with milk losses, lower milk quality and productivity, as well as increased veterinary care and labour.
“At Bayer, we passionately care for animals, and this partnership further affirms our commitment to dairy cattle health,” said Dr Sabine Bongaerts, Head of Drug Discovery, Animal Health. “For over 90 years, Bayer has been developing scientific innovations that address customer needs and support the health of animals. We are pleased to work with researchers from the Université de Sherbrooke to share knowledge and expertise towards helping veterinarians and dairy farmers fight mastitis.”
Milk is an important source of nutrition for the global population. The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization has estimated that up to about 895 million people directly depend to some extent on dairy farming (1).
“In North America, it is estimated that the economic losses related to mastitis can reach US$ 2.4 billion annually, representing about 11% of the total milk production from more than 10 million cows,” said Professor Jacques Beauvais, Vice-President, Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Université de Sherbrooke. “An effective vaccine that could help protect dairy cattle from S. aureus mastitis would make a welcomed difference to dairy farmers around the world.”
“We are extremely pleased that Bayer recognizes our original scientific approach, which led to a unique vaccine composition with remarkable characteristics,” said Professor François Malouin, principal inventor, Département de Biologie, Faculté des Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke.
As part of the license agreement, Bayer will develop and commercialize the novel vaccine based on the technology and intellectual property from TransferTech Sherbrooke. Further terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Mastitis is the inflammation of the mammary gland and udder tissue, and is a major endemic disease of dairy cattle. It usually occurs following bacterial invasion of the teat canal by a variety of bacterial sources present on the farm. One of the most common types of mastitis is caused by the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, which can spread throughout the herd and cause chronic cases that are extremely difficult to control by antibiotic treatment alone.
About TransferTech Sherbrooke
TransferTech Sherbrooke, formerly SOCPRA sciences et genie S.E.C., is the corporate entity responsible for commercializing the innovations emerging from the Université de Sherbrooke and its affiliated institutions. Its portfolio consists of more than 85 inventions of which more than 40% have been transferred to companies for their development and commercialization. For more information, go to www.TransferTech.ca.
About Université de Sherbrooke
The Université de Sherbrooke is in the heart of one of Quebec’s three major research hubs. Known for its sense of innovation, the Université de Sherbrooke is a key partner of senior and regional governments in the promotion of economic, cultural, and social development. It has garnered a reputation due to, among other things, the strong growth in its research activities in recent years, its successes in technology transfers, as well as its initiatives in entrepreneurship and open innovation in collaboration with industry and social milieus.
Bayer: Science For A Better Life
Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the Life Science fields of health care and agriculture. Its products and services are designed to benefit people and improve their quality of life. At the same time, the Group aims to create value through innovation, growth and high earning power. Bayer is committed to the principles of sustainable development and to its social and ethical responsibilities as a corporate citizen. In fiscal 2015, the Group employed around 117,000 people and had sales of EUR 46.3 billion. Capital expenditures amounted to EUR 2.6 billion, R&D expenses to EUR 4.3 billion. These figures include those for the high-tech polymers business, which was floated on the stock market as an independent company named Covestro on October 6, 2015. For more information, go to www.bayer.com.
This release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer’s public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
(1) Global Dairy Sector: Status and Trends. Food and Agriculture Organisation, United Nations. http://www.fao.org/docrep/012/i1522e/i1522e02.pdf. Accessed: 25/02/2016