Manufacturing Agreement in Place for New Strangles Vaccine
Amanda Carrozza is a freelance writer and editor in New Jersey.
An international team of scientists has created a protein-based vaccine to protect horses from strangles, one of the most frequently identified equine infectious diseases.
The manufacturer of Strangvac, a new protein-based vaccine intended to protect horses from strangles, has announced that it has a signed contract for manufacturing the vaccine.
“This is an important milestone in the process to complete the registration of Strangvac…especially considering that there is a huge need for a safe and efficacious vaccine against equine strangles as evidenced by all current reported outbreaks around the world,” said Jan-Ingmar Flock, CEO of Intervacc, the company that produced the vaccine, in a press release.
The manufacturing contract with 3P Biopharmaceuticals in Barcelona, Spain, includes transfer of the manufacturing technology, production of validation batches, and long-term commercial manufacturing once the vaccine is approved.
One of the most common equine infectious diseases, strangles is found throughout the United States and Europe. An estimated 600 outbreaks each year are reported in the United Kingdom alone.
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Caused by Streptococcus equi, strangles is characterized most often by purulent nasal discharge and swelling of the lymph nodes of the head and neck. These lymph nodes may rupture and drain pus. Infected horses also may develop other signs such as fever and breathing and eating difficulties.
An international team of scientists from Animal Health Trust, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Karolinska Institute, and Intervacc AB has been working since 2003 to develop a vaccine that is protective, safe, and enables differentiation of infected from vaccinated animals. New research outlines 3 studies conducted by the team in which ponies were vaccinated with combinations of recombinant fusion proteins.
According to the study’s authors, the 2 currently available strangles vaccines—Pinnacle IN in the United States and New Zealand, and Equilis StrepE in the European Union—both confer protection but must be given via the intranasal and submucosal routes, respectively, to minimize the risk of complications. However, the scientists believe that development of a vaccine that can be administered via the intramuscular route and protects against infection without interfering with diagnostic tests remains an important unmet goal.
Through their work, it was concluded that optimal protection was conferred by a prototype multicomponent subunit vaccine, Strangvac 4. Across the 3 experiments, only three of 16 ponies vaccinated with Strangvac 4 became pyretic compared with all 16 placebo-vaccinated control ponies.
“Strangvac 4 was immunogenic, conferred excellent levels of protection against strangles and is worthy of further development and clinical investigation,” the investigators concluded.
“We are delighted to have shown that our Strangvac vaccine protected over 80% of horses from this dreadful disease,” said Flock. “Strangles is a scourge of the equine world and the development of Strangvac has the potential to prevent many thousands of horses from falling ill each year.”
According to Andrew Waller, PhD, head of bacteriology at Animal Health Trust, Strangvac 4 is expected to be available for use in 2020. “Improving the health of horses is a core aim of the Animal Health Trust and we are proud to have helped make this vaccine a reality towards finally breaking the hold this disease currently has on our horses.”