Boston, MA (PRWEB) March 11, 2008
Replikins, Ltd. has announced development of a chemically synthesized vaccine specific to a Taura Syndrome virus structure based on its patented Replikins™ technology. When the vaccine was administered orally to shrimp, 91% survived a challenge by the lethal Taura virus. The specificity of the protective effect was established in control groups by chemically blocking the active regions in the vaccine, and as a result the protective effect was lost in these control groups. The effectiveness of this vaccine, and its rapid production cycle (7 days), represent an important proof of concept for developing vaccines against a range of rapidly replicating high lethality virus outbreaks.
For counteracting emerging infectious disease, early detection and rapid response are critical. Replikin contributions to date are both in early detection and rapid response: 1) Advance warning previously was not possible until it was found in H5N1 influenza that an increase in the virus replikin concentration signalled one year in advance that the outbreak was coming, and indicated the country in which this would occur (FluForecast™, Indonesia). 2) The production of vaccines by other methods has required 3 to 12 months, by which time the epidemic may have come and gone, or the vaccine effectiveness reduced or lost because the target changed due to mutation. In contrast, the replikins vaccine found effective here was manufactured synthetically in 7 days.
Viruses lethal to shrimp have been responsible for large losses to aquaculture worldwide. Replikins is forming a division to focus on these viruses. The company is also pursuing development of synthetic vaccine products based on replikin epitopes, Syntopes™, for the control of fish hemorrhagic viruses and other lethal aquatic microorganisms.