Boehringer, Biogénesis Bagó win USDA contracts for FMD vaccine supply

18:48 PM | July 13, 2020 | Joseph Harvey

The USDA has paid $27.1 million for the initial purchase of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccines to supply a national stockpile.

The agency told IHS Markit Animal Health it will receive a total of 47.5 million doses from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health and Biogénesis Bagó.

The vaccines will be supplied to the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service’s National Animal Vaccine and Veterinary Countermeasures Bank (NAVVCB). These vaccines would be used in the event of an FMD outbreak in the US.

Boehringer said it is the global leader in the storage and management of FMD vaccine banks. It currently maintains 17 banks for various countries and organizations. The firm also supplies vaccine stockpiles for numerous other animal diseases.
Argentina's Biogénesis said its contract is for 17 years (2020–37). The company already supplies the North American FMD Vaccine Bank and has a contract to do so until 2032. Biogénesis has participated in emergency FMD vaccine campaigns for Argentina, Uruguay, Taiwan, South Korea, and Vietnam. The firm is also the only foreign business to produce FMD vaccines in China.

The two companies will create and maintain a strategic reserve of frozen vaccine antigen concentrate that can be quickly formulated into an FMD vaccine.

The NAVVCB is part of program established by the 2018 Farm Bill to support animal disease prevention and management. The bank will store more doses than would be available at the North American FMD Vaccine Bank—designed to protect the US, Canada, and Mexico. The USDA said it will continue to contribute to North American FMD Vaccine Bank.

The agency’s undersecretary for marketing and regulatory programs Greg Ibach stated: “While we are confident we can keep FMD out of the country, as we have since 1929, having access to vaccine is an important insurance policy.

”Vaccines could be an important tool in the event of an incursion of the disease in the US, but their use will depend on the circumstances of the incursion and require careful coordination with the affected animal industries.”

The USDA said an FMD outbreak would “temporarily disrupt international markets.” However, it also pointed out vaccination would allow animals to move through domestic production channels.