|Modern vaccines for animals|
The business idea for Intervacc is to develop modern, effective and safe vaccines against bacterial infections of economic importance affecting animals. The possibilities to investigate the genome of pathogenic bacteria have significantly increased over the last decade by the use molecular biological methods.
The studies of genomes of pathogenic bacteria have led to the identification of interesting genes, coding for potential vaccine components. Bioinformatic analysis of the genome of S. equi allowed these proteins to be compared with previously known virulence factors from e.g. Streptococcus pyogenes, a human pathogen with similar pathogenetic traits. These genes, or fragments thereof, have been cloned and the recombinant proteins produced.
Intervacc develops new vaccines composed of recombinant proteins. The advantage by selectively choosing various recombinant proteins, rather than conventional vaccines, is that each protein can be studied regarding efficacy and safety. The development of vaccines within veterinary medicine is facilitated by the possibilities to perform experimental infections directly on the target animals.
Intervacc has the methodologies, knowledge and strategic collaborations to bring a project from research to finished product.
The product closest at hand is a vaccine against strangles caused by Streptococcus equi. The vaccine is composed of a number of recombinant proteins, both from the surface of S. equi and secreted proteins involved in immune evasion. Antibodies against these proteins have been shown to significantly hamper the bacterial infectivity in vaccinated horses. Strains of S. equi isolated from various outbreaks of strangles in different parts of the world have been shown to be largely identical, meaning that only one version of the vaccine is required to protect world wide.
Traditional vaccines against bacterial infections contain either whole killed bacteria or live attenuated bacteria. A drawback of such vaccines is that the protective efficacy is limited or non-existent, or there is a risk of infection caused by the vaccine strain.
The encouraging results of vaccination against strangles obtained by Intervacc, based on recombinant proteins, show a “proof of principle”. This is an important break through for vaccine development. The results lead Intervacc to look closer at the possibilities to develop vaccines against other streptococcal and staphylococcal veterinarian infections.