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The “VACDIVA” project starts, a vaccine against the African Swine Fever

Today was held the first Kick off Meeting of the project VACDIVA at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM).

The VACDIVA Project, which will last the following four years, aims to develop an effective vaccine against African Swine Fever (ASF). The vaccine would solve the current problem in Europe and the countries affected by the disease.

The VACDIVA project has been financed with 10 million euros by the European Union (EU) in the call “H2020-SFS-2019-1, topic: A vaccine against African Swine Fever”. The research works involve two international reference laboratories for ASF. Two international ASF reference laboratories, both of them Spanish, will participate in the development of this project: the Centre for Veterinary Health Surveillance (VISAVET) of the University Complutense and the Animal Health Research Centre (CISA-INIA) of the National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology.

Additionally, six national UE laboratories (from the 10 countries currently affected by ASF), four prestigious ASF research centers and two leader companies in vaccine´s production and ASF diagnostic kits.

The Rector of the UCM, Joaquín Goyache Goñi, has welcomed the VACDIVA project and the researchers composing the consortium, as well as the European Union representatives at the Kick off Meeting.

Then, Professor José Manuel Sánchez-Vizcaíno Full Professor of the Veterinary Faculty of the UCM, who is the project coordinator, has been in charge of the Kick off Meeting, which will be taking place today and tomorrow (18-19 November) in the VISAVET Center of the Veterinary Faculty of the UCM.

The Kick off Meeting will be attended by the Advisory Committee, consisting of the University of Lisbon, the Medicines Agency, STAR-IDAX IRC/OIE, the Cornell University, the University of Iowa, and the European Association of Pig Producers and the International Council for Hunting and Wildlife Conservation (CIC).

The purpose of the event is to launch the project, as well as to encourage communication between the different participants and share the progress made to date and future plans. This meeting will address key points such as the current situation of ASF and the different vaccine prototypes that will be carried out in VACDIVA, the planning of the experiments and trials contemplated in the project or the aspects related to the coordination, management, and communication, among other points.

Tomorrow, the experts will meet again at the VISAVET Center to continue the meeting with a session that will include the discussion of the different work packages and a general assembly at the end of the day.