Ames, Iowa-based vaccine producer, Harrisvaccines, today announced it has expanded its exclusive license agreement with AlphaVax, Inc. to include all companion animals diseases, in addition to all livestock animal diseases (swine, cattle, horses, poultry, and farmed aquatic animals).
Today’s announcement significantly expands the Harrisvaccines product portfolio, transforming it from a primarily production livestock-focused company to a full-service veterinary animal health company, developing vaccines for animals large and small. Harrisvaccines will begin its work in the companion animal realm by developing vaccines for a variety of respiratory diseases in dogs.
"This is a significant milestone for Harrisvaccines and solidifies our place as an innovative leader in the biologics industry with the ability to utilize this novel, exclusive technology in all preventive veterinary aspects,” says Joel Harris, head of Sales and Marketing for Harrisvaccines.
Harrisvaccines’ RNA Particle (RP) Platform technology utilizes a genetic sequence of specific viruses, which can be submitted electronically, to create a vaccine. Harrisvaccines can use this technology to develop strain-specific vaccines in just a matter of weeks, allowing for rapid response to disease outbreaks. As diseases are constantly evolving, this is crucial to containment and eradication efforts. In September 2012, Harrisvaccines received its first USDA license for its RP vaccine for H3N2 influenza virus in swine, the first vaccine of its kind using this RNA Particle technology to be licensed by a government agency.
Harrisvaccines has developed and commercialized vaccines for some of the most economically significant swine diseases to date, including porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus, porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) virus, pandemic H1N1 swine influenza virus and porcine rotavirus A, B and C.
“The advantage RP vaccines offer is a platform system that can be used against many different disease-causing agents (viral or bacterial),” says Hank Harris, DVM, president and CEO of Harrisvaccines. “When a gene sequence is identified from a disease agent that is known to induce a protective immune response, it can quickly be incorporated into the RNA vaccine platform. The RP vaccine then effectively delivers and expresses the target gene in the animal, resulting in the induction of a protective immune response. By harnessing modern molecular biology, virology and immunology techniques, RP vaccines can be rapidly developed in response to emerging diseases, like Pandemic H1N1 influenza and porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) virus, and reemerging diseases caused by rapidly mutating viruses such as H3N2 influenza virus and rotaviruses. This method bypasses the traditional technique of mass vaccine production requiring live microorganisms that is still used by the leading biologic companies today.”
Headquartered in Ames, IA, Harrisvaccines focuses on revolutionizing animal health vaccines and enhancing productivity in the swine, cattle, equine and farmed aquaculture industries. Using state-of-the-art advanced molecular science, Harrisvaccines employs their unique SirraVaxSM RNA Particle (RP) technology platform to develop rapid-response, herd-specific products for animal diseases. To learn more about Harrisvaccines, visit www.harrisvaccines.com.