Merck, Rapid Genomics to partner on vaccine verification

Tool confirms presence of vaccine replication in birds.
Canadian Poultry magazine
February 14, 2019
By Canadian Poultry magazine
Merck Animal Health (known as MSD Animal Health outside the United States and Canada) announced a collaboration agreement with Rapid Genomics which grants the company exclusive rights to Rapid Genomics’ vaccination verification tool, Viral Flex-Seq.

This tool will be utilized in combination with Merck Animal Health’s Innovax range of vaccines, including Innovax-ND-IBD, a unique vaccine that provides long-term protection against three infectious poultry diseases, Newcastle Disease (ND), Infectious Bursal Disease (IBD) and Marek’s Disease (MD), in a single dose.

The collaboration was announced at the 2019 International Production & Processing Expo (IPPE) being held in Atlanta, Georgia, from February 12-14, 2019.

“This partnership will bring together Merck Animal Health’s unique broad vaccine product line and Rapid Genomics’ innovative vaccination verification test, to optimize and enhance disease outbreak management in poultry for improved animal health and welfare,” said Taylor Barbosa, DVM, Ph.D., ACPV, Executive Director, Global Poultry Marketing, MSD Animal Health.

“As the poultry industry grows, there is an increased need for improving disease control to optimize productivity and we are committed to growing with the industry to bring innovative solutions to our customers.”

Viral Flex-Seq is a product that provides a highly sensitive and accurate result to confirm the presence of the vaccine replication in the bird. Viral Flex-Seq uses next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology, an advanced method of genomic analysis, to specifically detect replication of Innovax vaccines and differentiate them from field viruses.

“We are proud and excited to partner with Merck Animal Health, an industry-leading poultry vaccine company,” said Richard Currie, BVM&S, Ph.D., CEO, Rapid Genomics. “This partnership supports our mission as innovators in the field of genomic testing to set the standard for HVT vector vaccine detection and associated infectious pathogen diagnosis.”

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