IPPE Insights: MSD Animal Health and Rapid Genomics sign agreement on vaccine verification

MSD Animal Health announced a collaboration agreement with Rapid Genomics which grants the company exclusive rights to Rapid Genomics’ vaccination verification tool, Viral Flex-Seq®. The collaboration was announced at the 2019 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) being held in Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
calendar icon 13 February 2019
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This tool will be utilized in combination with MSD Animal Health’s Innovax® range of vaccines, including Innovax-ND-IBD, a unique vaccine that provides long-term protection against three infectious poultry diseases, Newcastle Disease (ND), Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD) and Marek’s Disease (MD), in a single dose.

"Viral Flex-Seq is using some of the newest technology and molecular genetics to actually verify vaccine take, not only detecting our Innovax line of products, but also detecting other HVT vectors," said Elise Myers, Global Poultry Technical Director. "It has another component which is involved in field virus detection. We're able to follow these birds through their lives from vaccination into the field and even monitor how some of those field virus populations are changing. So, groundbreaking for us and very happy to have this to support our growers."

Producers will now be able to identify exactly how many birds were successfully vaccinated with the Innovax product. Many traditional diagnostic methods haven't provided clear information in every instance when it came to HVT vector type products. However, Myers said this technology offers a very clear, precise, sensitive way of confirming a successful vaccination.

“This partnership will bring together MSD Animal Health’s unique broad vaccine product line and Rapid Genomics’ innovative vaccination verification test to optimize and enhance disease outbreak management in poultry for improved animal health and welfare,” said Taylor Barbosa, DVM, Ph.D., ACPV, Executive Director, Global Poultry Marketing, MSD Animal Health. “As the poultry industry grows, there is an increased need for improving disease control to optimize productivity and we are committed to growing with the industry to bring innovative solutions to our customers.”

Viral Flex-Seq is a product that provides a highly-sensitive and accurate result to confirm the presence of the vaccine replication in the bird. Viral Flex-Seq uses next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, an advanced method of genomic analysis, to specifically detect replication of Innovax vaccines and differentiate them from field viruses.

“We are proud and excited to partner with MSD Animal Health, an industry-leading poultry vaccine company,” said Richard Currie, BVM&S, Ph.D., CEO, Rapid Genomics. “This partnership supports our mission as innovators in the field of genomic testing to set the standard for HVT vector vaccine detection and associated infectious pathogen diagnosis.”

For more information on MSD Animal Health’s commitment to innovation, please visit www.msd-animal-health.com. For more information on Rapid Genomics and Viral Flex-Seq, please visit https://www.rapid-genomics.com/viral-flex-seq/.

Sarah Mikesell


Sarah Mikesell grew up on a five-generation family farming operation in Ohio, USA, where her family still farms. She feels extraordinarily lucky to get to do what she loves - write about livestock and crop agriculture. You can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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