Applications now open for vaccine prize

dzorikto / 123RF Stock Photo
dzorikto / 123RF Stock Photo

A US $30 million prize competition to develop a brucellosis vaccine to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers in developing countries is now open for applications.

The Brucellosis Vaccine Prize invites vaccine developers to submit their proposals for—and ultimately develop—a suitable vaccine that is efficacious, safe and viable for use against Brucella melitensis in small ruminants across the developing world.

The competition is funded by AgResults, a collaborative initiative between the governments of Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in an effort to find innovative solutions from the private sector to seemingly intractable development challenges. The pilot, which could last up to 10 years, will be managed by the Global Alliance for Livestock Veterinary Medicines (GALVmed).

Peter Jeffries, CEO of GALVmed, said the competition mechanism is ultimately designed to help control brucellosis, which impacts the majority of the 600 million people in developing countries whose livelihoods depend on livestock.

“Brucellosis is a significant disease for many in the developing world and there is a significant unmet need in terms of the vaccines currently available. While a brucellosis vaccine exists, the zoonotic disease remains endemic across much of the developing world—with the annual impact to smallholder farmers in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa estimated at US $500 million per year.

“Brucellosis can also be transmitted to humans, causing flu-like symptoms, exacerbating productivity loss and depressing incomes and vulnerable families.”

Applications for the first phase of the competition—for which there are 10 prizes of US $100,000—must be received by November 2017. Potential entrants are invited to submit their applications here. Full details and competition rules are also available on the website.


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