Overland Park, Kan (March 2002) The United States Department of Agriculture has issued a license to Fort Dodge Animal Health, a division of Wyeth, for a Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) vaccine for cats. This is a scientific breakthrough in the areas of Lentivirus vaccine research and preventative medicine against diseases caused by Lentivirus.
FIV can be a fatal disease in cats.The virus is transmitted from cat to cat primarily through bite wounds, as the virus is shed in high levels through saliva.Even though this feline virus is related to HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), no human has ever been reported to be infected with FIV.
This FIV vaccine is a dual-subtype vaccine and is the first feline immunodeficiency vaccine ever to be approved for commercial use.
“”The vaccine itself is truly international in that it is composed of virus strains of two different subtypes, one from North America and one from Asia,”” explains Janet Yamamoto, Ph.D., chief researcher and Professor in the Dept. of Pathobiology at the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine.
“”The use of vaccine strains from different subtypes originating from different regions of the world was a goal of our research team. We knew from studies performed by FIV researchers worldwide that many subtypes can be found globally and FIV changes or mutates within the body.””
The vaccine is being commercialized under license agreements with the Regents of the University of California and the University of Florida Research Foundation, assignees of the Pedersen/Yamamoto and Yamamoto patents.
Until now, no pharmaceutical treatment or any vaccine has been available to control or prevent FIV infection. The research teams at Fort Dodge Animal Health and the University of Florida have worked for over 10 years to make an FIV vaccine that could be used globally. The newly approved vaccine was proven to be efficacious against FIV infection.In a study where cats were vaccinated 3 times and then challenged a year later with a heterologous FIV challenge strain, the vaccine protected 67% of vaccinates against infection (any cat that showed evidence of integration of the viral genome into its white blood cells was considered infected) while 74% of the controls became persistently viremic. The study showed the protection induced by this inactivated vaccine lasts for a minimum of 12 months.
The new vaccine, which requires three initial doses, is recommended as an aid in the prevention of infection with FIV. The vaccine will be available for purchase to licensed practicing veterinarians in the summer of 2002.
For more information regarding this vaccine, please contact Fort Dodge Animal Health’s Professional Services department at 1-800-533-8536.
Fort Dodge Animal Health, a division of Wyeth (NYSE:WYE), is a leading manufacturer and distributor of prescription and over-the-counter animal health care products for the livestock, companion animal, equine, swine and poultry industries in North America and international markets. Key products include ProHeart® Injection, CYDECTIN ®Pour-On, EtoGesic®Tablets and Quest® Fort Dodge Animal Health is headquartered in Overland Park, Kansas.