- presentation made by Bioniche Food Safety President regarding EconicheTM,
the world's first fully-licensed cattle vaccine against E. coli O157 -
BELLEVILLE, ON, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire/ - Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. (TSX & ASX: BNC), a research-based, technology-driven Canadian biopharmaceutical company, gave a presentation about its E. coli O157 cattle vaccine at the First International One Health Congress in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. The Bioniche presentation - by Rick Culbert, President of Bioniche Food Safety - was focused on the challenge of implementing cattle vaccination against E. coli O157 to reduce the risk of human infection.
In the One Health Congress presentation, Mr. Culbert noted that E. coli O157 is a global problem that requires a proactive solution. "The fact that the organism does not make cattle ill presents an adoption challenge in the cattle industry," said Mr. Culbert. "At the moment, cattle producers receive no direct benefit or compensation to justify the cost of vaccination against E. coli O157. However, there is an opportunity for the cattle industry to collaborate with public health to more effectively deal with this recurring issue."
Most strains of E. coli are harmless but some, like O157, can cause severe illness and can even be fatal when ingested by humans from contaminated meat, vegetables, other food products, or water. Human exposure and infection with E. coli O157 can result in serious health consequences, including abdominal pain and severe bloody diarrhea. In severe cases, kidney damage can occur and progress to serious complications and even death. Lingering, long-term medical conditions can persist in individuals exposed to the bacterium. These include post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome (PI-IBS), reduced kidney function, diabetes, hypertension and reactive arthritis.
An E. coli O157 outbreak last fall in the U.S. was associated with the consumption of raw milk gouda cheese. Last November, seven cases of E. coli O157 human illness in the U.S. were linked to the consumption of apple cider and eleven cases were linked to the consumption of contaminated food served at a Thanksgiving dinner. An outbreak last summer at a restaurant chain in Japan was traced to beef that was imported from Australia.
About the Bioniche E. coli O157 Vaccine (EconicheTM)
The Food Safety Division of Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. has worked with Canadian university researchers to develop and license a cattle vaccine against E. coli O157. This vaccine - trademarked EconicheTM - is meant to reduce the level of the bacterium in water, food and the environment and, in turn, reduce the potential infection of humans. It has been fully licensed in Canada since October, 2008. A conditional license is pending in the U.S.
EconicheTM has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of E. coli O157 shed into the environment by beef and dairy cattle. This organism does not cause illness in cattle, but cattle are the primary reservoir for it. Vaccination of cattle with EconicheTM can help reduce the risk of food and waterborne contamination with E. coli O157.
EconicheTM is manufactured at the Company's Belleville, Ontario site where, supported by the Ontario and Canadian governments, a $25-million expansion is taking place that is expected to be completed by the end of March, 2011.
More about E. coli O157
An estimated 100,000 cases of human infection with the E. coli O157 organism are reported each year in North America. Two to seven per cent of those people develop haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a disease characterized by kidney failure. Five percent of HUS patients die, many of them children and senior citizens, whose kidneys are more sensitive to damage.
About the First International One Health Congress
The One Health Congress was designed to focus on the disease risks and challenges brought about by the interactions between animals, humans and the environment. The goal of the Congress is to review current disease knowledge at this interface and provide information needed to more effectively manage the emerging infectious disease risks at national, regional and global levels. The outcomes include the identification of future research directions and to make recommendations on policy and organisational changes using the underlying science to inform and drive the process.
About Bioniche Life Sciences Inc.
Bioniche Life Sciences Inc. is a research-based, technology-driven Canadian biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development, manufacturing, and marketing of proprietary products for human and animal health markets worldwide. The fully-integrated company employs 218 skilled personnel and has three operating divisions: Human Health, Animal Health, and Food Safety. The Company's primary goal is to develop proprietary cancer therapies supported by revenues from marketed products in human and animal health. For more information, please visit www.Bioniche.com.
Except for historical information, this news release may contain forward-looking statements that reflect the Company's current expectation regarding future events. These forward-looking statements involve risk and uncertainties, which may cause, but are not limited to, changing market conditions, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies, the establishment of corporate alliances, the impact of competitive products and pricing, new product development, uncertainties related to the regulatory approval process, and other risks detailed from time to time in the Company's ongoing quarterly and annual reporting.
SOURCE Bioniche Life Sciences Inc.