US: State fund advances swine vaccine research

A grant from a state economic development fund will help Iowa State University researchers develop and evaluate a vaccine designed to protect swine from novel H1N1 and other strains of influenza.

This could also help protect the health of people who work on hog farms.

The State Board of Regents this week approved $679,663 in competitive grants from the state's Grow Iowa Values Fund for seven new Iowa State research projects. The goal of the grants is to support development of technologies with commercial potential and to support the growth of companies using those technologies.

Iowa lawmakers agreed in 2005 to appropriate $5 million per year for 10 years to support economic development programs and research projects at Iowa's Regent universities. This is the fifth time Iowa State has awarded competitive grants from the state fund. This year's grants range from $31,426 to $146,610 for the swine vaccine project.

The research team working on the swine vaccine includes Brad Bosworth, an affiliate associate professor of animal science; Ryan Vander Veen, a doctoral student in immunobiology; and Mark Mogler, a doctoral student in veterinary microbiology. They're working with Hank Harris, a professor of animal science, and his startup company, Harrisvaccines Inc. (doing business as Sirrah Bios) at the Iowa State University Research Park.

“We've got to make sure this protects pigs,” said Harris. “And we have to determine the effective dose to protect pigs.”

Editor PigProgress

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