Canadian biopharmaceutical company Bioniche Life Sciences Inc announced the establishment of a C$4m (US$2.51m) Bioniche Research Chair in Food Safety at its Annual Shareholders’ Meeting last week.

The chair will be with the Veterinary Infectious Diseases Organization (VIDO) of the University of Saskatchewan.

Bioniche, which researches and develops technologies for the global human and animal health markets, has pledged to contribute C$400,000 every year for five years. The funds will be used to reduce the risk of human infection by food-borne illnesses, such as E.coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Campylobacter and Listeria.

President and CEO Graeme McRae commented in a press release: “We are the first Canadian company to emphasize the importance of food safety by establishing and funding a dedicated research chair. 

“We believe this commitment will lead to the development of technologies that will have the great impact of assuring the safety of our food and water supplies.”

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“By leveraging our internal resources and skills with a world renowned research partner such as VIDO, we will rapidly build our food safety business with a pipeline of effective vaccines,” he added.

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