Bac Vactory kicks off: developing bacterial vaccines

In 2017, a multidisciplinary research programme will begin to work on the development of bacterial vaccines as part of a public private partnership. The programme will examine bacteria that are closely related and cause infectious diseases in humans and animals, in order to develop new, safe and efficient vaccines. Combining knowledge of human and veterinary medicine will allow for an integrated approach.

Resistant bacteria make it difficult to fight infectious diseases in humans and animals. In fact, each year 25,000 people die as the result of antibiotics resistance in Europe alone. Antibiotic resistance is also a major problem in the livestock farming sector.

Bac Vactory is a programme that conducts research for the development of bacterial vaccines, with a focus on similar diseases that occur in both humans and animals. Programme Leader Prof. Jan Tommassen, Utrecht University: “An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. By introducing new vaccines, we can reduce the use of antibiotics, and thereby reverse the development of antibiotics resistance.” The Bac Vactory programme consists of the entire technological vaccine development chain, from identification of the antigen to the formulation of the vaccine. Combining knowledge of veterinary and human health through the so-called ‘One Health’ approach offers opportunities to realise applications more quickly. By exploiting the vaccine development route in animals, clinical development of newly developed vaccine approaches for human use will be derisked and accelerated.

Programme information

Bac Vactory brings the Netherlands’ excellent vaccine infrastructure present at its universities, medical centres and technology institutes together with international pharmaceutical companies and small- to medium-sized businesses. A grant of more than 2 million Euros as part of the Perspective programme of NWO Domain Applied and Engineering Sciences (previously known as STW), and 1 million Euros in co-financing provided by the business community will provide the stimulus for the start of this five-year vaccine development programme. The Dutch knowledge partners’ ambition is to expand their partnership into a technical expertise centre in the field of research and development of bacterial vaccines for humans and animals.

The Bac Vactory programme partners include: Utrecht University, VU Amsterdam, VU medical center, Eindhoven University of Technology, Radboud University Medical Centre, Wageningen Bioveterinary Research, Abera Biosciences, GlaxoSmithKline, Pulike Biological Engineering INC, Zoetis and Immuno Valley.

Public kick-off

On 31 May 2017, the public kick-off for Bac Vactory will be held during the annual Immuno Valley conference at Hotel Mitland in Utrecht. Professionals from the business community, knowledge institutions and government agencies will all be present. For more information, see this website