Media Coverage

Ceva, Synthetic Genomics enter genetic platform collaboration for livestock vaccines


Oct 31, 2017 - Animal Pharm
By Sian Lazell
Animal Pharm
October 31, 2017


Ceva Santé Animale has signed a deal with Californian firm Synthetic Genomics to use the latter's next-generation synthetic RNA replicon platform to develop vaccines for livestock.

Synthetic Genomics' RNA replicons are designed to deliver genetic instructions to a body's own cells. This in turn triggers an immune response against a specific disease.

A replicon is a specific sequence of nucleic acid that replicates as a unit when activated. Synthetic Genomics said its RNA replicons carry the genetic code for a self-replication engine as well as antigens that signal for an immune response.

The firm explained 'self-amplifying' RNA-based vaccines trigger rapid and immediate antigen expression in host cells, in turn initiating strong T cell and B cell responses. These fully synthetic vaccines have lower dose requirements and manufacturing is simplified compared to traditional vaccines.

The financial terms for the firm's deal with Synthetic Genomics were undisclosed.

Oliver Fetzer, chief executive of Synthetic Genomics, said: "We have made tremendous progress to date in programming RNA to develop next-generation vaccines that are multigenic, tunable and, most importantly, scalable for commercially competitive markets, such as animal health.

"This partnership with Ceva, a leader in animal health, highlights the promise in deploying our synthetic biology capabilities to build RNA systems capable of improving global health in a variety of ways."

Synthetic Genomics was established in 2005. The firm provides solutions in genomics research, bioproduction and applied products. Its research division is focused on genomics solutions for academic and commercial R&D organizations. The company's products and services include instrumentation, reagents, DNA synthesis services, and bioinformatics services and software.

Ceva's deal with Synthetic Genomics signals part of its growth strategy over the next few years. The French company hopes to build on its expertise in the biologics space and apply next-generation techniques, such as genomics, to ensure it can stay ahead of the field in the vaccines sector.

In January this year, Ceva told Animal Pharm it believes reproduction and genomics are currently two of the most innovative areas in the food animal space.

In July, the firm reiterated its aim to become a top five player among the manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and vaccines for animals by 2020. Ceva said it plans to achieve this goal through a mix of acquisitions and organic growth.

Reprinted with permission of Animal Pharm News

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