VIDO-InterVac studies emerging human and animal infectious diseases with a focus on vaccine development. Originally established as the Veterinary Infectious Disease Organization in 1975, VIDO-InterVac has evolved from a small agricultural focused research organization to a world-class research institute dedicated to the development of vaccines for the protection of human and animal health. Today, VIDO-InterVac stands for Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre and is one of the world’s largest and most advanced high-containment facilities located on campus at the University of Saskatchewan.
With a history of rapid response, VIDO-InterVac has played a leading role in vaccine development, which includes a few notable examples such as:
- Commercializing eight vaccines, including six world firsts;
- Developing a vaccine for Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDV) in under two years;
- And developing a vaccine to give to camels to stop the transmission of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) to humans.
In today’s current COVID-19 environment, VIDO-InterVac has been hard at work in their containment level 3 facility developing a vaccine to combat the pandemic. This special facility allows scientists to work on diseases with high impact including influenza, tuberculosis and African Swine fever.
As a key leader in Canada’s pandemic response, the organization has developed COVID-19 vaccine candidates that have proven highly effective in animal models. Toxicology studies are ongoing to ensure the safety of the vaccine candidates, and the organization will initiate human clinical trials following regulatory approval from Health Canada.
Throughout this rapidly progressing research, VIDO-InterVac has been working and collaborating with other organizations in Canada and globally to test other vaccines, antivirals, and therapeutics against COVID-19. This support addresses their overarching vision of protecting Canada and the world from infectious diseases.
To help expand Canada’ emergency preparedness and innovation capacity, VIDO-InterVac is also building a pilot-scale vaccine manufacturing facility. With government funding - Innovation Saskatchewan provides major research and operational funding - the facility will accelerate vaccine development and help increase Canada’s vaccine manufacturing capacity.
Thanks to the expertise in our province and the sophisticated and specially equipped facilities, VIDO-InterVac is leading a major part of Canada’s response to the pandemic and positioning themselves as a leading centre for pandemic research.