VaxLiant marks first anniversary of vaccine innovation as a joint venture
LINCOLN, Neb., June 18, 2014 — Even before VaxLiant was formed in 2013, its leaders had been working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to create a breakthrough foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) vaccine. The result was what Dr. Luis Rodriguez, USDA Agricultural Research Service research leader, called one of the most significant developments in FMD vaccines in 50 years — a vaccine that was created without using live FMD virus, which meant it could be researched and manufactured safely within the U.S. mainland. At the heart of that breakthrough is VaxLiant’s vaccine adjuvant, ENABLTM, which now is also providing the stability and flexibility needed for a variety of animal vaccines.
“Now, just one year after VaxLiant was formed as a joint venture, we couldn’t be more excited about how ENABL and our fully customizable BiomizeTM adjuvants have been embraced by vaccine manufacturers, large and small,” says Steve Schram, VaxLiant co-founder. “We’re working with many large-scale animal vaccine companies to look at how these novel adjuvants can create efficiencies in their production processes, which typically involve long lead times. And, companies that manufacture customized vaccines for veterinarians are using the adjuvants to improve vaccine effectiveness and consistency."
Innovative adjuvants fight diseases
VaxLiant is partnering with several companies to develop vaccines using ENABL that can be commercialized to help fight diseases in many countries. Some are looking for ways to improve existing vaccines, while others are developing new vaccine solutions. Beyond exploring solutions for livestock, some organizations are considering how to incorporate ENABL into vaccines for aquaculture, companion animals and exotic animals.
At the 2013 Animal Health Investment Forum, for example, VaxLiant announced an initiative to develop a rapid-response vaccine to help combat avian influenza (AI). Research showed ENABL allowed the DNA component of an AI vaccine to remain intact and stable, while providing higher levels of effectiveness using 70 percent less antigen. While still in development, this vaccine should make it possible to produce an affordable vaccine to benefit poultry farmers throughout the world.
“Whether vaccine-makers are working on vaccines for livestock disease epidemics, or other common diseases that challenge farmers, having access to modern adjuvants is key to making progress,” says Timothy Miller, Ph.D., VaxLiant co-founder. “With ENABL and Biomize, they no longer have to settle for traditional, less-flexible solutions to manage animal diseases. There is no end to the types of vaccines that modern adjuvants will allow us to develop using a variety of formulations and routes of inoculation, and tapping into the expertise of the best scientists.”
These modern adjuvants enable vaccine-makers to achieve the same levels of effectiveness using less antigen, which means more vaccine can be created from the same amount of ingredients. In addition, a wider array of tests can be developed to more easily differentiate vaccinated animals from those that actually have been infected with the disease.
“Being able to bring benefits like this to veterinarians and farmers — and to companies looking for ways to improve existing and new vaccines — is the reason we founded VaxLiant, says Schram. “When vaccine manufacturers consider ENABL or a fully customizable Biomize adjuvant, they’re excited about how these adjuvants can help them in the fight against highly contagious, costly livestock diseases.”
VaxLiant provides innovative antigen-delivery systems and technical support that give companies the flexibility they need to develop and commercialize safe, effective vaccines. VaxLiant is a joint venture between two established companies: Benchmark Biolabs, Lincoln, Neb., which has provided streamlined research-to-commercialization services since 1996, and AgriLabs, St. Joseph, Mo., a leader in marketing vaccines, nutritionals and other animal-health products for more than 25 years.