PARAMUS, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Kermode Biotechnologies, Inc., a privately-held US-based biotechnology company focused on animal health, announced that it is actively engaged in discovery to identify the mode of transmission and replication for the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus.
ASF is a fatal disease that affects the pork industry and has a mortality rate as high as 100% (and for which there is no vaccine). In 2018, the world saw several outbreaks of ASF in pig livestock in China, SE Asia, Russia and Eastern Europe that reduced global swine stocks by 15% - the devastation in impacted countries such as China was far worse, with declines in stock closer to 30%. Because the disease is fast-acting and without a vaccine or therapeutic treatment, the only recourse for producers of pig livestock when an outbreak occurs is to immediately cull herds to stop the spread.
Following the 2018 epidemic, many regulatory bodies and global industry organizations (including the US Pork Industry) have been actively working to prevent and prepare for future outbreaks – including implementing enhanced biosecurity measures to prevent the transmission of the ASF virus from feed, humans, cars and trucks by utilizing isolation and sanitization protocols.
However – without a vaccine, ASF has the potential to continue to devastate global pig livestock production because it is considered to be the greatest global threat to pork production (according to a recent article published by Megan Niederwerder, a College of Veterinary Medicine Professor at Kansas State University, “Mitigating Risk of ASFV in Feed”).
Recognizing the challenges posed by ASF, Kermode Bio has been working on better understanding the mode of action for this complex virus – a complex DNA virus that is transmitted among swine as well as through arthropods (Asfivirus genus).
As a next step in its discovery and development, Kermode recently engaged in a partnership with Aridis Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: ARDS) to develop two targeted approaches. The first approach includes a vaccine candidate that would help prevent infection and thus reduce future outbreaks. The second is a monoclonal antibody candidate that could serve as a therapeutic treatment for infected animals.
Kermode Bio’s Founder and CEO, Dan Chen, stated, “We have been focused on researching ASFV since the epidemic of 2018. This virus had a material impact on the lives of so many people around the world as the primary food sources for billions of people abruptly shrank and prices for pork products skyrocketed. We are excited to be entering this next phase of the project where we can begin the discovery work to identify target candidates. We believe that (if successful), the discovery and development of a vaccine and therapy to prevent and treat ASFV will help to improve food security.”
About Kermode, Inc.
Kermode is a US-based, privately-held, biotechnology company focused on solving the challenges of animal health. Its immediate focus is on livestock viruses such as African Swine Fever Virus (ASFV) and Swine Influenza Flu (SIV).
Kermode is utilizing computational approaches to define vulnerable targets in structure, genetic composition and replication cycles of animal viruses. Once these targets are defined, Kermode applies state-of-the-art antibody discovery platforms to isolate therapeutic candidates with the highest potential to protect livestock against viral infections. This approach will allow Kermode to identify the strongest possible antibody therapeutics and construct vaccine candidates with long-lasting in vivo responses.
Kermode’s Pipeline includes:
- KT100: ASFV vaccine (pre-clinical development)
- KT101: ASFV therapeutic antibodies (discovery)
- KT102: Swine Influenza Virus vaccine (pre-clinical development)
- KT103: Swine Influenza Virus therapeutic antibodies (discovery)
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. These statements may be identified by the use of words such as "anticipate," "believe," "forecast," "estimated" and "intend" or other similar terms or expressions that concern Kermode's expectations, strategy, plans or intentions. These forward-looking statements are based on Kermode’s current expectations and actual results could differ materially. There are a number of factors that could cause actual events to differ materially from those indicated by such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, the need for additional financing, the timing of regulatory submissions, Kermode’s ability to obtain and maintain regulatory approval of its existing product candidates and any other product candidates it may develop, approvals for clinical trials may be delayed or withheld by regulatory agencies, risks relating to the timing and costs of clinical trials, risks associated with obtaining funding from third parties, management and employee operations and execution risks, loss of key personnel, competition, risks related to market acceptance of products, intellectual property risks, risks related to business interruptions, including the outbreak of COVID-19 coronavirus, which could seriously harm our financial condition and increase our costs and expenses, risks associated with the uncertainty of future financial results, Kermode’s ability to attract collaborators and partners and risks associated with Kermode’s reliance on third party organizations. While the list of factors presented here is considered representative, no such list should be considered to be a complete statement of all potential risks and uncertainties. Unlisted factors may present significant additional obstacles to the realization of forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially from those described or implied by such forward-looking statements as a result of various important factors, including, without limitation, market conditions. Forward-looking statements included herein are made as of the date hereof, and Kermode does not undertake any obligation to update publicly such statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.