BELLEVILLE, ON, June 27 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Bioniche Life SciencesInc. (TSX: BNC), a research-based, technology-driven Canadianbiopharmaceutical company, hosted a two-day conference in Toronto this weekentitled, "E. coli O157 Vaccine: Added Value or Added Cost". The audienceincluded veterinarians and representatives from the food industry: Beef,dairy, and other agricultural commodity producers.
Guest speakers included Dr. David Biesenthal, a veterinarian in Walkerton,Ontario whose cattle farm was one of those implicated in the town's watercontamination with E. coli O157:H7 in 2000. Dr. Biesenthal is one of the firstadopters of a vaccination program using the Bioniche E. coli O157:H7 cattlevaccine. "Vaccination of all cattle could help reduce the opportunity foranother incident like the one that occurred in Walkerton and would demonstratedue diligence," he said.
Kevin Grier, Senior Market Analyst with the George Morris Centre inGuelph, Ontario presented data from an economic cost-benefit analysiscompleted for Bioniche related to the vaccine. The analysis concluded thatthere is a potential $2 saved for every $1 spent on vaccination of theCanadian cattle herd. An executive summary of the report is available on thewebsite www.fightecoli.com.
Dr. John Fairbrother, Director of the Reference Laboratory for Escherichiacoli (E. coli) at the University of Montreal discussed a variety of potentialintervention strategies to address on-farm contamination with E. coli. Heconcluded that an optimal strategy is a global approach, using combinedintervention strategies to improve food safety. Dr. Fairbrother was named asWorld Health Organization expert on E. coli in 2006.
Dr. David Smith, Professor and Extension Dairy/Beef Veterinarian in theDepartment of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences at the University ofNebraska-Lincoln summarized the results of field studies with the Bionichevaccine at university feedlots over the last six years. He noted that theBioniche vaccine fulfils the expectations of an efficacious vaccine.
Another guest speaker was Dr. Guy Loneragan, Associate Professor,Agriculture Sciences and Epidemiologist in the Feedlot Research Group at WestTexas A&M University. Dr. Loneragan discussed his analysis of the appliedinterventions against E. coli O157:H7 in real-world studies, as well aspeer-reviewed publications. In response to the question, "How muchintervention is enough?", Dr. Loneragan said, "If we knew the pathogenthreshold level in meat processing plants - the acceptable level that meatprocessing and packing facilities can handle with internal interventions - wecould easily assess the efficacy required of a pre-harvest intervention.Unfortunately, this threshold is yet to be well-defined. That said, however,the vaccine intervention appears to change summertime shedding patterns intowinter-type patterns. Empirical data from human health tells us this change isimportant. I believe that vaccine technology probably has the broadestapplication and is the most widely implementable."
Dr. Doug Powell, Associate Professor in the Department of DiagnosticMedicine/Pathobiology at Kansas State University, discussed the need to createa food safety culture, from farm-to-fork, 24/7. He emphasized that riskreduction strategies are key to ensuring food safety. "The Bioniche vaccine isa technology to reduce risk. Any tool you can provide for risk reduction willhelp."
"We are pleased with the level of interest in our vaccine on the part ofveterinarians, researchers and the food industry," said Rick Culbert,President of Bioniche Food Safety. "We are in an awareness building phase,whereby we are introducing various segments of the food industry to both ourvaccine and the impact of E. coli O157:H7 on human health."
Bioniche has developed the world's first cattle vaccine that may be usedas an on-farm intervention to r