Media Coverage

AgriLabs strengthens pipeline with FMD vaccine master seeds


Dec 08, 2017 - Animal Pharm
By Sian Lazell
Animal Pharm
December 6, 2017

US livestock vaccines speciliast AgriLabs has developed master seeds for adenovirus vectored foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccines. 

The master seeds are for a replication-deficient human adenovirus vector that expresses select genes for several different serotypes of FMD virus.

AgriLabs said although existing FMD vaccines are available in the US and elsewhere, its new seeds are the first to use a live adenovirus as a vector for select genes from FMD virus. The technology enables the production FMD vaccines without the biosecurity hazard of an actual FMD virus being present in a manufacturing facility.

By integrating select genes from FMD virus into an adenovirus vector, causing it to produce proteins related to an FMD infection, the technology provides the efficacy of a live attenuated vaccine and the safety of existing subunit or inactivated antigen-based vaccines.

Dr Tim Miller, chief scientific officer of AgriLabs, said: "We know that infecting animals with a weakened or attenuated version of an infectious agent generally produces a better immune response than inactivated antigens. However, in the case of FMD, the risk of producing a harmful infection in vaccinated animals has prevented the industry from developing a live attenuated vaccine.

"Because we're using a replication-deficient adenovirus as the vector expressing the capsid genes of the FMD virus, we believe these vaccines will mimic a natural infection and therefore do a better job than an inactivated antigen of stimulating an immune response. And, because we're only using a limited piece of the genetic material from the FMD virus, there's no risk of causing a harmful infection."

In November, AgriLabs achieved a significant milestone when it was handed the USDA's first conditional approval for a DNA vaccine for chickens. This marked the first time an approval has been given to AgriLabs' ExactVacTM DNA technology with ENABL adjuvant.

Additionally, the DNA veterinary vaccine is the first of its kind to be approved for influenza and among the first DNA vaccines authorized in the US for food-producing animals. 

Reprinted with permission of Animal Pharm News


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