This signature comes in the context of COVID-19 pandemic and the outbreak of avian influenza in France. It affirms the shared objective of the joint ‘One Health’ work, the global concept of health at the crossroads of animal, human and environmental health and, in particular, the prevention of infectious diseases of animal origin and the improvement of animal welfare.
The COVID-19 pandemic, most likely an infectious disease of animal origin (zoonoses) and the recent wave of avian influenza affecting Europe, highlighted the need to build knowledge of the potential risks to the emergence of new epidemics, as well as the need to either prevent them or improve control solutions.
For more than 40 years, INRAE, led by the Carnot France Futur Elevage Institute and Ceva, the leading French veterinary biopharmaceutical company, has been implementing joint projects to develop new pharmaceuticals and vaccines for farm animals (poultry, pigs, ruminants).
The existing partnership in addition to licensing INRAE technologies, involves many forms of collaboration, including exchange of laboratory personnel, testing of anti-infective treatments and vaccines and several joint research projects - the European H2020 PIGS programme - Programme for Innovative Global Prevention of Streptococcus Suis - scheduled to be completed in 2021. The VISIONS project (tick vaccination), MARDISHED project (for the protection of Marek’s disease on poultry farms) and the Master 1&2 training programme IDOH (Infectious Diseases and One Health) involving 36 academies and companies and financed by the EU (Erasmus fund) since 2017.
The two share a common vision of how to transform current farming practices to be sustainable and animal welfare-friendly. This agreement provides a framework for action priorities in terms of research, innovation and economic development, and intensifies their interactions in two areas:
Area 1: Diagnosis, prevention and treatment of infectious diseases
-Early detection/diagnosis of diseases (precision breeding and artificial intelligence, ‘bedside’ diagnosis)
-Vaccines and immunostimulants
-Antibiotics and alternative treatments (pre-probiotics, bacteriophages, etc.)
Area 2: Optimisation of production and animal welfare
-Optimisation of reproduction (fertility, fecundity) and milk production
-Improvement of animal welfare (behaviour/pheromones)
Dr Marc Prikazsky, Ceva Santé Animale CEO, said, “The current COVID crisis has made us aware that no single person, entity or country will be able to protect their health without better cooperation. Any change will therefore depend on new forms of collaboration between private and public institutions, developed and emerging economies, human and animal health.
“Faced with this urgency to act, we look forward to expanding our partnership with INRAE to develop innovative solutions or the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of infectious diseases. Our initiatives will contribute to improving interactions between animal, human and plant health, while respecting the future of our planet.”