TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2016

Harrisvaccines secures rights to develop RNA particle vaccines for animals

Harrisvaccines, Inc., an Ames, Iowa-based vaccine producer, announced on Tuesday that it expanded an exclusive license agreement with AlphaVax, Inc., to include companion animals diseases in its RNA particle vaccine portfolio.

The expansion transforms Harrisvaccines' product portfolio from a primarily production livestock-focused company to a full-service veterinary animal health company. The company will start its work in the companion animal sector by developing vaccines for 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," Joel Harris, the head of sales and marketing for Harrisvaccines, said.

Harrisvaccines' RNA particle platform technology uses a genetic sequence of certain viruses that can be submitted electronically to create a vaccine. In September 2012, Harrisvaccines received its first U.S. Department of Agriculture license for its RP vaccine for H3N2 influenza virus in swine.

"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, and re-emerging diseases caused by rapidly mutating viruses such as H3N2 influenza virus and rotaviruses," Hank Harris, the president and CEO of Harrisvaccines, said. "This method bypasses the traditional technique of mass vaccine production requiring live microorganisms that is still used by the leading biologic companies today."

AlphaVax is a Research Triangle Park, N.C.-based vaccine developer that uses viral vector technology to create vaccines for cancer and infectious disease.

Harrisvaccines uses state-of-the-art molecular science to develop herd-specific products for animal diseases.