UBIC builds NARO Anti-tick vaccine team’s capacity for biosafety compliance

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THE Uganda Biosciences Information Centre (UBIC) has taken steps to build the capacity of the anti-tick vaccine (ATV) development team of Uganda’s National Agricultural Research Organisation (NARO) in communication and biosafety compliance.

Beginning Dec 2,  UBIC has conducted a series of training with the ATV team which has culminated in the development of a communication strategy and boosted the team’s capacity to uphold regulatory requirements established by the National Biosafety Committee (NBC) in the conduct of their work.

It is important to build the communication function of the project so that you begin to communicate in a way that facilitates public understanding about the product (vaccine) advised Dr. Titus Alicai, a Principal Research Officer at NARO and the Principal Investigator of the Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa (VIRCAPlus) project.

VIRCAPlus is developing cassava varieties with resistance to cassava brown streak and cassava mosaic diseases using genetic engineering tools.

Dr Barbara Zawedde, Director of Research at NARO’s Mukono Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MuZARDI) and NARO Institutional Biosafety Committee Chair advised the team to ensure that IP issues are clarified and streamlined to avoid future encumbrances.

Results from these training including communication strategies and Standard Operating Procedures will be key for the ATV team as they develop a dossier required for biosafety clearance for commercialization of the vaccine.

They will also be of benefit, as benchmarks to other teams conducting similar work in Uganda. The training was attended by 14 members of the ATV team. More training is in the pipeline to equip the entire team, including support staff with the requisite knowledge on biosafety and regulatory compliance.