February 6, 2024


Renaissance BioScience partners with VIDO for research on swine health


Renaissance BioScience has announced a strategic collaboration with the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organisation (VIDO), a global leader in infectious disease research and vaccine development, leveraging Renaissance's advanced yeast-based technology to combat two major diseases and enhance immune system function in swine and piglets, National Hog Farmer reported.


The project has secured a CAD 600,000 (US$443,000) grant from the Saskatchewan Agricultural Development Fund.


The coordination of the two distinct projects at VIDO will be led by Heather Wilson, a distinguished scientist and programme leader in vaccine formulation and delivery. Recognised as one of the Most Influential Women in Canadian Agriculture in 2023, Wilson will spearhead initiatives addressing porcine epidemic diarrheal virus and porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus through pioneering orally delivered yeast-based vaccines. These diseases pose significant threats to the global swine industry, resulting in substantial annual losses.


The second project tackles gut health, immunity, and overall growth in piglets. To reduce the reliance on traditional antibiotics, Renaissance BioScience and VIDO will collaborate on an orally delivered yeast that releases peptides, zinc, and essential amino acids into the swine's digestive system. This innovative approach aims to alleviate stress, provide protection against infections, maintain gut health, and foster lean muscle growth.


Both projects share the common goal of developing cost-effective, safe, and non-invasive health solutions that can be seamlessly integrated into the swine's feed.


This yeast-based approach holds the potential to enhance the health and productivity of agricultural animals, contributing to a more sustainable and efficient food solution for the expanding global population. Yeast's advantages, including cost-effective production and delivery of biological molecules, make it an ideal carrier through the challenging intestinal environment. Additionally, yeast can safeguard bioactive molecules during the rigorous animal feed production process and is a common component in livestock feed, facilitating easy adoption in real-world applications.


John Husnik, Renaissance's CSO and Office of the CEO, said that Renaissance is pleased to be working with the world-leading researchers at VIDO on these exciting animal health projects. He highlighted the significance of addressing gut health challenges and immune support in livestock and human diseases.


Heather Wilson said this yeast platform technology holds significant promise in improving animal health, and they look forward to getting started on these projects. The partnership aims to make meaningful strides in livestock health concerns and advance the application of yeast-based technology in addressing critical challenges.

-        National Hog Farmer