Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease has quickly spread across the United States. Working with the USDA, Medgene Labs responds with a vaccine developed on its prescription platform technology.
Medgene Labs, a vaccine and immunological services provider based in Brookings, SD, has received emergency use authorization for their experimental Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 (RHDV2) vaccine from the USDA Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB).
Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease is a highly contagious, fatal disease in rabbits and is currently classified as a reportable foreign animal disease in the United States. Animal health officials detected RHDV2 in the U.S. for the third time since 2018 in February 2020. Since that time, it has been spreading to multiple states across the country.
Medgene Labs has been working closely with the USDA to provide a U.S.-based vaccine option, given vaccines imported from other countries require infecting rabbits in the manufacturing process. As part of the emergency use authorization process, safety studies are underway. The results of these studies supported USDA’s decision to grant Emergency Use Authorization for the vaccine while further work is ongoing for a full product license.
“We are excited to extend the use of our platform technology and achieve emergency use authorization for our RHDV2 vaccine from the USDA. We have worked closely with their team since the major outbreak to reach this milestone. We are dedicated to helping rabbit owners and veterinarians combat this devastating foreign animal disease,” stated Chief Executive Officer, Mark Luecke.
Medgene Labs’ RHDV2 vaccine is an inactivated or killed recombinant subunit protein vaccine that builds immunity to RHDV2-specific antigenic proteins in the rabbit. The immune system sees the RHDV2 protein and learns to protect the rabbit from the virus. Production of the vaccine does not require the use of animals or live virus in the production facility. Because the vaccine only uses protein sequences from the RHDV2 virus to build immunity, it is impossible for a rabbit that receives the vaccine to shed any virus or infect other rabbits.
The vaccine is administered through a subcutaneous injection and is comprised of a 2-dose regimen with the second dose being delivered 21 days following the initial dose.
Medgene Labs is currently working with the USDA and state veterinarians to provide access to the vaccine nationwide. With Emergency Use Authorization, there are specific steps and documentation required to distribute the vaccine. The company is prepared to start receiving orders during the first week of October 2021 and has launched a web page to provide more information and answer frequently asked questions.
You can learn more by visiting www.medgenelabs.com/rhdv2 or by calling the company’s customer service line (605) 697-2600.
About Medgene Labs
Medgene Labs is the world’s leading Immunological Services ProviderTM. As an Immunological Services Provider, Medgene Labs monitors the production environment for new viruses, continuously updates its virus sequence and vaccine construct bank to rapidly address health risks, and serologically monitors animals for vaccine effectiveness. Medgene Labs provides these immunological services to its ISPRIME® community of animal owners and their veterinarians in support of delivering consistent and reliable health management tools.
Additional information regarding Prescription Platform Vaccines can be found in Veterinary Services Memorandum Nos. 800.213 and 800.214.