TEANECK, N.J. – On July 8, Phibro Animal Health Corp. announced that it is seeking patent protection after the company said it made a significant development toward a vaccine for African Swine Fever (ASF). Phibro said the new vaccine development process includes the identification of immunogenic epitopes and proteins that show strong potential to form the basis for a vaccine against ASF.

The Phibro research and development team and its collaborators made the identification using a unique bioinformatics analysis tool in order to select the highest potential epitopes and proteins capable of eliciting protective immune response. Epitopes are part of the antigen molecules recognized by the immune system which attach to antibodies.

The company’s approach is to create a specific epitope-based vaccine, rather than following the more conventional path of an attenuated live vaccine. If successful, this method would not only be an effective response to ASF but would result in a vaccine that presents no risk of further spreading the disease.

“ASF’s decimation of China’s swine population represents not just a crisis for the entire swine husbandry industry, but more importantly, a food security crisis for mankind,” said Jack Bendheim, Phibro’s chairman, president and CEO. “The identification of this group of peptides and proteins is a key milestone in Phibro’s pursuit of a solution for this devastating disease. While we still have much work ahead of us, we have made important progress toward reaching that goal and we take pride in potentially being part of the solution to such an urgent problem.” 

Phibro Animal Health develops a broad range of animal health and mineral nutrition products for use in the production of poultry, swine, cattle, dairy and aquaculture.