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Hong Kong start up joins global push for ASF vaccine

A Hong Kong-based start-up, Pacific GeneTech, has taken up the search for an effective African swine fever vaccine.

26 May 2020, at 10:09am

According to reporting in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), Pacific GeneTech plans to conduct its “proof-of-concept” clinical trial on 120 pigs in North America.

No effective vaccine for African swine fever has made it to market. The 2018 global outbreak has resulted in millions of pigs either dying or being culled to slow its spread. The second and third order effects of the pandemic have decimated national swine herds in South East Asia, significantly restructured global trade flows and changed meat consumption patterns.

The SCMP reports that Pacific GeneTech is partnering with US-based EpiVax to develop vaccines for ASF.

Tim Collard, EpiVax CEO said:

“EpiVax has developed computational and genetic tools to develop vaccines for humans and animals, to facilitate selection of the best components from circulating viruses for making vaccines.

“Many vaccines being pursued are unlikely to be effective because ASF is a very tricky virus with multiple strains, which has caused big problems in Asia, Russia and parts of Europe … it is a matter of time before it spreads to the United States.”

Read more about this story in the South China Morning Post.