Shares of GenVec (NASDAQ:GNVC) soared 12% Thursday morning after the medicine and vaccine maker said it received a conditional license for a foot-and-mouth disease vaccine for use in cattle.
The conditional license enables the product to be distributed as authorized by federal emergency management and agricultural officials within the U.S. Department of Agriculture in the event of a foot-and-mouth disease emergency situation.
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Foot-and-mouth disease is a severe, highly-contagious viral disease that affects cloven-hooved animals. While it’s not usually fatal, it causes suffering and vastly reduces animals’ commercial value by reducing their weight and milk output.
Conditional licenses are often issued in emergency situations or under other special circumstances. In this case, a vaccine was needed that was capable of being manufactured in the U.S. and allowed for the differentiation between infected and vaccinated animals.
The drug was first discovered by the USDA Agricultural Research Service and developed by GenVec scientists in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s science and technology directorate.
It was manufactured by Antelope Valley Bios under a contract by GenVec, and the license was issued by the USDA.
The announcement marks the first ever foot-and-mouth disease vaccine licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s animal and plant health inspection service, and GenVec’s first approved product.
“This achievement demonstrates GenVec's ability to bring its technology through the regulatory review process and validates the utility of our core technology to make effective genetic vaccines,” said Dr. Bryan Butman, the head of GenVec's foot-and-mouth program.