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Prosper Animal Health secures positive results from proof-of-concept studies

Prosper Animal Health (PAH) has received "highly impactful" proof-of-concept study results in pigs, poultry and salmon.

The clinical-stage firm – based in Doylestown, Pennsylvania – is working on oil-free vaccines and immunotherapies for a range of species.

PAH's platform compound is an oligodeoxynucleotide called IMT504. The firm's chief executive and president, Jean Pierre Gagnon, said this vaccine immunomodulator can offer better efficacy, a fast and sustained immune response, broad protection and high levels of safety. PAH is developing a pipeline of water-based vaccines for bacterial and viral infections.

Speaking to Animal Pharm at the recent Human Biotech & Animal Health Business Partnering Summit in Boston, Dr Gagnon stated: "Current marketed vaccines are only marginally protective against circulating strains and have significant undesirable side effects and safety issues. We believe the new vaccines based on IMT504 will offer more effective and faster protection, better safety profile and economical alternatives to currently available vaccines and provide us with significant advantages.

"There are a lot of technologies being developed for better presentation of an antigen. But these are not generating an increased immune response like our vaccines can."

While PAH's pipeline aims to approach many targets across livestock and companion animals, one particular focus is porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS) – the most economically significant disease impacting US swine production. PRRS costs the US pork industry around $664 million each year in production losses and another $478m in veterinary, biosecurity and other outbreak related costs.

Multiple strains of PRRS are circulating and current vaccines cannot provide sustainable disease control, according to PAH.

The firm is also targeting other fatal pig diseases (including swine influenza), in ovo vaccines for poultry, canine influenza and bacterial infections in salmon.

The company is seeking $5 million in funding for GMP manufacturing and to complete its proof-of-concept studies for three vaccines.

"These are very exciting results," Dr Gagnon noted. "We have shown we can generate a safe and strong immune response. Now, we're actively looking for series A funding and partners. We think this platform technology is applicable to any vaccine and any species. But we can't do it all on our own. So, we are looking to co-develop."

He said the funding will also allow PAH to perform the preliminary clinical validation for three unspecified vaccines. Should the firm bag funding, it aims to have developed these three vaccines by 2022 – ready for commercialization. 

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