Harrisvaccines, Inc. Secures Exclusive Rights From AlphaVax, Inc. to Develop RNA Particle Vaccines for All Diseases in Companion Animals
AMES, Iowa, October 29, 2013 – 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,” said 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 Virus (PEDV), Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus (PRRSV), 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),” said Dr. Hank Harris, 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 Virus (PEDV) and re-emerging 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.”
Based in Research Triangle Park, NC, AVX has developed a new generation of vaccine products for diseases that represent significant market opportunities based on its novel, proprietary vector platform technology. AlphaVax is at the forefront of a completely new class of potent biopharmaceutical products aimed to participate in this market with its viral vector technology that has the clear potential to redefine the traditional concept of vaccines. The AlphaVax proprietary viral vector gene expression system has the potential for developing a range of effective vaccines in both cancer and infectious disease.
AlphaVax is focusing the commercial potential of its alphavaccine system in cancer immunotherapy. The development of immunotherapeutic treatments for cancer is a rapidly growing area in which AlphaVax will be taking a lead position in developing new treatment modalities utilizing its proprietary technology. For more information, visit www.alphavax.com.