World First Agreement Signed

  • Simon Upton
Crown Research Institutes

An agreement has been signed today between New Zealand's AgResearch and the Ministry of Agriculture of the People's Republic of China which will see AgResearch provide an exclusive licence to China to manufacture a Hydatids vaccine in that country.

This is the first time an agreement of this type has been forged and it follows almost two years of field trials and planning for large scale production and distribution of the vaccine.

In announcing the agreement, the Minister for Crown Research Institutes, the Hon Simon Upton, said it was intended that the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture would use the vaccine as the spearhead in an extensive programme designed to control and eliminate Hydatids disease in China.

"Hydatids is a parasitic disease that seriously affects the productivity of animals and, if contracted by humans, can endanger life," Mr Upton said. "This new vaccine will lead to improved animal productivity and a significant reduction in the risk of human infection and attendant hospital
and surgery costs."

AgResearch is a Crown Research Institute which is wholly owned by the New Zealand Government.

"This agreement is significant in that it underpins the value of the New Zealand Government's investment in science and indicates the calibre of the Crown Research Institutes on the international research scene."

AgResearch will provide technical expertise and knowledge to China and will assist in overcoming any initial problems which may occur.

"Both countries will work together to develop the most appropriate vaccination programme in the field, including education schemes, and draw on the New Zealand experience to ensure the best possible success in eradicating the Hydatids disease in China," Mr Upton said.

The initial programme will produce the vaccine for the Chinese market but may also produce vaccine for the rest of the world in the future, Mr Upton concluded.