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Designing a vaccine

Article-Designing a vaccine

Harrisvaccines is pioneering the commercialization of a novel way to make a vaccine using just a part of a virus. They call it SirraVax RNA Particle, and it’s a technology platform that uses as its backbone a simple virus called an alphavirus. The process never uses the actual virus in the production of the vaccine. Instead the vaccine starts with data.

When a diagnostic lab analyzes a specific pathogen strain from a farm, it sequences the genes for that virus. That digital sequence is what goes to Harrisvaccines for development of the vaccine. The specific gene for a virus is placed into the company’s RNA platform where it is then electroporated into Vero cells — a common mammal cell used in labs.

The targeted RNA particles are grown in the Vero cells, and then harvested and purified to make the final vaccine. The key is that the RNA particle vaccine creates an immune response in the targeted animal, and the solution to a targeted disease can be developed in as little as six weeks.

The technology has potential for targeted flu treatments in humans, and Harrisvaccines is also working on solutions to swine influenza, foot-and-mouth disease, bovine diseases and even diseases of shrimp. It’s versatile technology that holds the promise for help on a range of problems in the future. You can learn more at

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