African Swine Fever Pipeline Analysis 2021- focusing on clinical trials and results, drug profiling, patents, collaboration, and other recent developments. African Swine Fever (ASF) is a highly contagious disease affecting pigs and boars. The ASF virus is communicable and has the capability of wiping out an entire herd, with a 100% mortality rate. A 2020 report published by World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) states that the advent of ASF has been on a rise since 2016. 30% of countries in the world have reported instances of ASF break and from 2020 till May 2021, 8,330 ASF outbreaks are observed around 25 countries, affecting 1,604 swine and 6726 boars, particularly in Europe and Asia, which reported 6.733 million pigs or 82% of the global loss. Pork is the highest consumed meat globally and rising instances of ASF have raised serious concerns.
ASF Vaccine Status
Several companies have invested in the development of the ASF vaccine and a majority of them are yet under the development phase. The ineffectiveness of standard vaccine manufacturing methods to deal with the ASF virus is delaying the vaccination development and clinical trial. The standard vaccination method included exposer to a weak virus that helps in immunity building within the animal. However, this method is not working for the ASF virus. Another method adopted by the US Department of Agriculture along with EpiVax study’s the cells of pigs that have recovered from the virus and introduce them to unaffected pigs. The development team is also planning to observed the virus immunity in the off-springs of pigs that have recovered. Using this method, the development team developed a vaccine in 2019, which is under clinical trial. The companies developing these vaccines had contracted with other companies for clinical trials. EpiVax, for instance, contracted with Hong Kong-based Pacific Green Tech to conduct a clinical trial on 120 pigs in North America. However, in May 2021, USDA ARS announced an ASF vaccination candidate which has been adapted to grow in a cell line, reducing the requirement for live pigs or their fresh cells, hence providing new scope in the market.
Based on a similar line, the Vietnam Department of Animal Health along with the National Veterinary Joint Stock Company (NAVETCO) has successfully developed the ASF vaccine in November 2020 and completed 1st clinical trial in March 2021. The vaccine is projected to be rolled out in the market by the third quarter of 2021.