InterVac is a highly secure facility designed to safely study and handle CL3 infectious pathogens and agents affecting humans and animals. CL3 diseases include SARS, HIV/AIDS, pandemic influenza, West Nile virus, tuberculosis, and mad-cow disease (bovine spongiform encephalopathy). InterVac features airtight rooms with interlocking bio-seal doors, specialized waste disposal facilities, and other fail-safe security measures to ensure the safety of all individuals involved in infectious disease research and vaccine development.
The facility will develop and expand Canadian scientific expertise and national capacity related to the research, development and production of vaccines. These vaccines can be marketed globally to prevent health challenges, such as world-wide pandemics, providing substantial economic benefits to Canadians.
InterVac – which is expected to become fully operational in 2012 – will be operated by the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO). VIDO is already recognized as a world leader in the research and development of vaccines for humans and animals. It holds over 80 patents for its innovative discoveries and has successfully developed several animal vaccines that are commercially distributed.
Support for the $140 million project was provided by the Government of Canada, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Government of Saskatchewan, the University of Saskatchewan and the City of Saskatoon. The funding breakdown is as follows: