NTC inside// Vaxxinova: ‘Keeping our animals healthy is in our best interest’

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone is talking about vaccines. But for one of the residents of Novio Tech Campus, vaccines have been the number one topic of conversation since the 1950s. Vaxxinova believes in One Health, a transdisciplinary approach – working at local, regional, national and global levels – to achieve optimal health outcomes, while recognizing the interconnection between people, animal, plants and their shared environment. With this – and the recent pandemic – in mind, keeping animals healthy seems to be more important than ever. We asked Vaxxinova five questions about their company in Nijmegen.

1. What is the main business of Vaxxinova?

Vaxxinova’s primary aim is to improve animal health and welfare by developing vaccines and diagnostic services. Vaxxinova battles microorganisms that do not respect borders and can spread rapidly, both across geographical borders and across species. That’s why the global health company believes in a business without borders. Vaxxinova is made up of research & development, production, sales and diagnostic facilities in ten countries on four continents. And the company values their long term partnerships with livestock veterinarians and animal health professionals.

2. Why is your innovation needed?

It’s in our own best interest to keep animals healthy. Most diseases that can cause a pandemic, are zoonoses. That means they can spread from animal to human. That’s what happened with the COVID-19 virus too. Moreover, the development of vaccines is crucial for our society. When we protect our animals against diseases, we can produce food in a healthy way, while assuring the animals’ wellbeing.

3. How was your business affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

As a matter of fact, Vaxxinova did develop a vaccine for a different corona virus. For chickens, that is. IBV (Infectious Bronchitis Virus) is a well-known and widespread corona virus in chickens. Every veterinary company in vaccine development has a vaccine against IBV, so naturally we do too. Next to this, we contributed to the fight against the actual COVID-19 virus. In Germany many private laboratories were used as testing facilities for COVID-19. The lab of Vaxxinova in Leipzig was one of them that performed PCR tests. Normally only for poultry, swine, ruminant and fish, but during the pandemic the lab also processes PCR tests for humans.

4. What distinguishes your company compared to others in the business?

Vaxxinova is like a global family. This comes with a personal approach.. Vaxxinova is all about people, instead of just capital. Being able to protect animals against certain pathogens is the most important reward. Developing vaccines is a bumpy ride, the routes are long and exhausting and often, we have to take a lot of hurdles. But when we can make it work, it’s all worth the effort.

5. Why did you settle at Novio Tech Campus in Nijmegen?

Since 2016, Vaxxinova’s headquarters have been situated at the Novio Tech Campus in Nijmegen. We have built our lab from scratch. But now, we are up and running. Here in Nijmegen, we found a perfect place of business. We love the facilities around here. The work environment is pleasant and spacious, there are many meeting rooms and there is always someone at the front desk to welcome our guests. And more importantly, this location gives us all the opportunities to work with our neighbours at the campus and universities and institutes are nearby. Also, attracting foreign talent is easier because of our location in Nijmegen, a centre of health and high tech business and innovation.