Harrisvaccines Awarded Avian Influenza Stockpile Contract from USDA15 October 2015
US - Iowa-based vaccine producer, Harrisvaccines, today announced it has been awarded a contract to provide Avian Influenza H5 vaccine to the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS).
This action is being taken to develop the agency’s National Veterinary Stockpile, and does not signal a decision to vaccinate for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).
The total amount of the award is $6 million and fulfillment will span over two years. Harrisvaccines was the only United States-based company to be awarded a portion of the stockpile solicitation. The USDA has requested that Harrisvaccines provide a total of 48 million doses, 25 million of which will be provided within 45 days.
“The Harrisvaccines team is honored to assist the USDA in the continued fight against avian influenza,” said Dr Hank Harris, founder and CEO of Harrisvaccines.
“By stockpiling our pioneering RNA particle vaccine, the US is taking an important first step in protecting our poultry and egg producers against another overwhelming loss. Harrisvaccines is proud to be a part of that effort.”
Avian influenza is a fast-moving, highly contagious disease that has devastated producers across the nation this year. To date, nearly 50 million chickens and turkeys have been lost to this virus.
In Iowa alone, avian influenza has impacted 31 million birds. The formation of an H5 vaccine stockpile is a crucial step toward protecting our nation from the resurgence of the deadly virus.
Harrisvaccines received USDA conditional licensure of Avian Influenza Vaccine, RNA, in September 2015. This was the first conditional license for highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) granted since the outbreak began in spring 2015.
Harrisvaccines creates Avian Influenza Vaccine, RNA by utilizing its rapid response, SirraVax SM platform technology, and all efficacy studies for the license were completed by USDA entities.
The vaccine can be produced rapidly (about four weeks), does not require a live virus for production, and is fully DIVA-compliant. DIVA (differentiating infected from vaccinated animals) compliance indicates that animals will not test positive for the HPAI virus simply because they were vaccinated.
This is an important factor to consider when eradicating a disease and evaluating international trade implications of vaccine use in the United States poultry industry.
"Our SirraVax RNA technology gives us the ability to match any virus or bacterial strain 100 percent, and to continue to update the vaccine to match any additional strains of the agent that may emerge in the future,” said Joel Harris, vice president of Harrisvaccines.
“This stockpile could provide the industry a base of protection against the next H5 HPAI outbreak, and Harrisvaccines is in a position to rapidly produce additional vaccines if the virus changes or a new strain emerges.”
Harrisvaccines has already begun production of Avian Influenza Vaccine, RNA in its USDA-approved production facility in Ames, Iowa.
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