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Perhaps now more than ever, people across the world are keeping a close watch on vaccine research. Research that has been essential in fighting against infectious diseases over the years. In Halifax, the Canadian Center for Vaccinology (CCfV), located at the IWK Health Centre has played a critical role in developing and evaluating vaccines and related technologies.

Established in 2007 through a collaboration between Dalhousie University, the IWK Health Centre, and Nova Scotia Health Authority, the CCfV covers a wide spectrum of vaccine research – from vaccine discovery to clinical trials to health policy examination and translation.

The center’s 20,000 sq. ft. facilities includes labs for microbiological and molecular research, clinical trial facilities, data analysis, telemedicine capabilities, and training. The Sanofi Pasteur Vaccine Challenge Unit / Clinical Research unit is the first of its kind in Canada and, with less than a dozen such facilities worldwide, it puts the CCfV at the leading edge of vaccine research.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the center is working on a wide range of studies that will provide a more robust and comprehensive view of the disease, from looking at biomarkers in patients with severe cases to social science studies surrounding vaccine acceptance and preparedness.

The vaccinology center is also home to the Canadian Immunization Research Network (CIRN), a federally funded network that serves to provide research data to inform public health decision-making. This attracts world-class trainees and experts and provides a level of collaboration that significantly enhances the researchers’ ability to rapidly meet the challenges of worldwide health concerns.

The expansive and comprehensive research executed at CCfV has the potential to put Halifax on the global map for infectious disease and potentially life-saving research. It also bolsters Halifax’s life science industry along with other local companies that are developing and commercializing vaccine and biomedical research.

Learn more about the Canadian Center for Vaccinology (CCfV) >

Vaccinology Centre

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IMV Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to making immunotherapy more effective, broadly applicable, and widely available to people facing cancer and other serious diseases. The company is pioneering a new class of cancer-targeted immunotherapies and vaccines based on their proprietary delivery platform, DPX. This patented technology leverages a new mechanism that enables the activation of immune cells in vivo, which are aimed at generating powerful new synthetic therapeutic capabilities. IMV is also developing a DPX-based vaccine to fight against COVID-19.

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Appili Therapeutics is an infectious disease biopharmaceutical company with a mission of solving life-threatening infections. By systematically identifying urgent infections with unmet needs, Appili’s goal is to strategically develop a pipeline of new therapies to improve lives and prevent deaths. As part of a global consortium, Appili is sponsoring late-stage clinical trials evaluating the antiviral Avigan (favipiravir) for the worldwide treatment and prevention of COVID-19. Additionally, the company is advancing a range of anti-infectives, including a broad-spectrum antifungal, a vaccine candidate to eliminate a serious biological weapon threat, and two novel antibiotic programs.

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DeNovaMed Inc. specializes in new therapeutic approaches to combat bacterial infections. Their team has expertise in drug discovery, microbiology, and bacterial lipid metabolism. DeNovaMed’s drug discovery platform has synthesized over 700 unique compounds, many with antibacterial activity. The company is also developing a topical antibiotic for treating diabetic foot infections. This will be a first to market antibiotic that will be able to cover a wide spectrum of pathogens including drug-resistant superbugs.

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ABK Biomedical is organized to research, develop, and commercialize breakthrough medical device therapies to improve treatment outcomes and the lives of patients with benign and malignant hypervascular tumors. The company holds intellectual property in the focus area of inorganic polymer microspheres, targeted at the growing field of embolotherapy within Interventional Radiology and Oncology. ABK’s advanced R&D and manufacturing facilities allow them to develop and commercialize unique, breakthrough embolotherapy products.

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Dalhousie is a world-leading, research-intensive university with researchers actively involved in helping small- and large-scale industries in Nova Scotia and around the world, by developing new products, services, and processes.

Through a joint initiative with the Capital District Health Authority, IWK Health Center, and other partners, Dalhousie established the Life Sciences Research Institute (LSRI), a center of excellence for innovation, commercialization, and research with state-of-the-art facilities accessible to local industry. Officially opened in 2011, the LSRI is a bright, open and spacious new building located in the heart of Halifax’s academic health sciences network—next door to Dalhousie Medical School and across the street from the QEII Health Sciences Center and IWK Health Center on University Avenue.

The university attracts more than 19,000 high achieving, motivated and engaged students from around the world to its four campuses. In its more than 190 undergraduate and graduate programs across 13 faculties, Dalhousie provides a unique, interactive and collaborative environment for creating and sharing knowledge, supported by research funding from governments, industry and non-governmental organizations.

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