Commercial Adoption Of Herdscreen® ASFV Antibody Test In Europe
New pen-side test allows for highly specific, sensitive detection of infected animals or contaminated pig-derived products
Algenex SL, a biotech company backed by Cleon Capital and Columbus Ventures delivering disruptive technologies for recombinant biologics production, and Global Dx Ltd, a company dedicated to improving the quality of animal care by facilitating accurate diagnosis for veterinarians worldwide, today announce the adoption of Herdscreen® ASFV Antibody Test by a major Spanish producer of pig-derived food and meat.
Herdscreen® ASFV is a point-of-care rapid diagnostic test that identifies animals which have been exposed to the African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) using whole blood, plasma or serum samples. Herdscreen® uses a highly specific antigen produced using CrisBio®, Algenex’ proprietary Baculovirus vector-mediated expression platform that uses insects as natural single-use bioreactors for the production of recombinant proteins. This antigen is able to capture antibodies developed during infection with ASFV with 100% specificity and higher sensitivity than a commercial ELISA test, as evidenced in field and experimental samples from infected animals gathered by the European Union Reference Laboratory for African Swine Fever (CISA-INIA).
African Swine Fever (ASF) is a severe viral disease causing a haemorrhagic fever with high mortality rates (up to 100%) in domestic pigs and wild boars at the beginning of the outbreaks but rapidly evolving to sub-acute infections inducing high antibody titers in infected animals. Typically, ASF outbreaks involve large-scale culling of infected herds. Currently, there is neither an effective treatment nor commercially available vaccine against ASF. ASF is one of the most serious threats faced by the global veterinary industry in the last decades. The detection of ASF infected animals and products is also an increasing challenge for international pig and pig product supply chains.
José Escribano, Founder and CSO of Algenex said “African Swine Fever is an increasing problem globally with recent outbreaks in Europe and Latin America. The ability to certify live pigs and pig-derived products as ASF-free is a critical need for producers. The adoption of Herdscreen® ASFV by a major Spanish meat producer highlights the value of the test which resides in its ability to allow rapid individual testing in situ and aid in the certification of ASFV-infection status through the entire food supply chain. Tests like this may be effective in drastically reducing disease spread.”
Sharon Shepherd, Co-Founder and CEO of GlobalDX said “The Herdscreen® ASFV test offers a powerful new tool for the management of this serious veterinary disease and can be deployed in a wide range of settings including farms, abattoirs and during transport. Its development in collaboration with Algenex and subsequent commercialisation demonstrates our ongoing commitment to stopping the spread of severe infectious diseases with major economic and environmental consequences.”
Recently Algenex received marketing authorization in the European Union and United Kingdom for a CrisBio®-based vaccine for Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD).
 The validation study conducted at CISA-INIA using 282 serum and blood samples from ASFV positive animals showed the test to have analytical specificity of 100% and analytical sensitivity of 86.2%.
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