MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018

Anivax and University of Arizona license food safety vaccine


Anivax and the University of Arizona have licensed a Campylobacter food safety vaccine designed to be administered to poultry to reduce colonization by the bacteria and ultimately lower the incidence of human disease and associated conditions.

The liquid vaccine, currently being tested on chickens, has not shown any ill effects, said Anivax CEO John Buttery.

“Risk assessment indicates that a 99 percent reduction of the Campylobacter load on chickens would reduce the incidence of campylobacteriosis associated with chicken meals by a factor of 30, thus a reduced incidence of 300 cases in humans down to 10 cases per 100,000,” he said.

The vaccine took nine years to develop, Buttery said. Testing will continue for one more year.

Buttery said the next step is to engage with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “We will talk to the USDA next month and find out when we can take the vaccine to market, then we’ll have a better idea what (USDA) testing requirements will be,” Buttery said. “We could go to market in two to three years.”

Campylobacter jejuni infection is one of the most commonly identified bacterial causes of acute gastroenteritis worldwide, surpassing Salmonella. In the United States, it causes an estimated 1.3 million human health-related cases costing over $1 billion in healthcare costs each year.

Because chickens can live with the bacteria without suffering adverse effects, the real benefit of the vaccine will be to consumers.

“The bacteria lives in the chickens’ intestines. The bacteria can be transferred to the meat during slaughter, and if it’s not cooked properly it can pass to humans. Our vaccine will kill the bacteria so there will be nothing to pass. It can only be passed through ingestion,” Buttery said.

The team of inventors includes individuals from both institutions, including: Bibiana Law, associate research professor in the UA School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and Anivax’s chief science officer; Alexandra Armstrong, assistant research scientist in the UA School of Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences, Food Safety Consortium chair and Anivax’s vice president of research; Michael Anderson, Anivax’s vice president of products; and Roy Curtiss of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University.