INDIANAPOLIS -- Dow AgroSciences LLC has been named as the industry partner with the University of Melbourne in a Linkage Grant from the Australian Research Council to pursue development of plant-made production systems for an avian influenza vaccine.

The grant will support collaboration between the University of Melbourne and Dow AgroSciences Australia Inc., as well as researchers at the Macfarlane Burnet Institute and Monash University.

"We are extremely pleased to be able to apply our expertise in plant-cell-produced vaccines to safeguard animal and human health," said Butch Mercer, global business leader, animal health, for Dow AgroSciences. "We are looking forward to a successful collaboration with the University of Melbourne, Macfarlane Burnet Institute and Monash University."

The project aims to provide proof-of-concept for the rapid production of plant-made vaccines for Australia's poultry industry, shielding the industry from exotic influenza strains and guarding rural communities from the impact of stock losses.

Plant-made production systems offer significant benefit over traditional vaccines as they do not contain any components of animal origin. This feature also makes plant-made vaccines an attractive technology for the future development of swine and human influenza vaccines.

The government-funded grant is part of the Linkage-Projects program, which supports collaborative research projects between higher education researchers and industry for projects benefiting regional and local communities.

Dow AgroSciences LLC, based in Indianapolis, is a global leader in providing pest management, biotechnology and crop products that improve the quality and quantity of the earth's food supply and contribute to improving the health and quality of life of the world's growing population. Dow AgroSciences is a wholly owned subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company.

SOURCE: Dow AgroSciences LLC via PR Newswire.