Canada joins global effort to prevent pandemic

February 14, 2020

OTTAWA, ONTARIO — Canada’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac) is participating in the global research and development efforts against the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) being coordinated by the World Health Organization. This world-class institute at the University of Saskatchewan received approval from the Public Health Agency of Canada to work on 2019-nCoV on January 22, 2020 and announced a plan to have a vaccine ready to start testing in animal models in six to eight weeks.

As one of the largest and most advanced containment level 3 (CL3) research facilities in the world, VIDO-InterVac is one of the few facilities that can determine the effectiveness of vaccines and other therapeutics for 2019-nCoV.

VIDO-InterVac is one of 17 Major Science Initiatives funded by the Government of Canada through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI). The CFI recognizes the significance of the work done in this facility and the importance of maintaining such facilities. They need the latest and best research equipment to be prepared to join global initiatives and help meet some of the challenges we face in Canada and the world today.

The Centre has decades of experience developing coronavirus vaccines including the world’s first coronavirus vaccine (used in cattle), and a vaccine for porcine epidemic diarrhea virus. In addition, VIDO-InterVac was part of the SARS accelerated vaccine initiative and has ongoing vaccine development work for Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus. Ongoing research on other diseases in CL3 include high pathogenicity avian influenza, and tuberculosis.