Larad is developing virus-like-particle (VLP) vaccines and diagnostics using molecular technology. VLPs are structurally analogous to viruses and induce a strong immune response but contain no genetic material and cannot cause disease. VLP vaccines can be rapidly re-engineered to keep pace with the viruses as they evolve. While conventional vaccines become less effective as viruses mutate, Larad will be able to adapt its VLP vaccines to combat changing viruses. VLPs can also be used as reagents in diagnostic kits.
The initial focus of the company is on products for an immunosuppressive disease in poultry caused by the infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV). The IBDV capsid proteins are being expressed in the baculovirus system. When pVP2 and VP3 are expressed together VLPs result. IBDV proteins expressed in the baculovirus system have been used by us and others as a vaccine for this disease. The problem with the first vaccines, which focused exclusively on VP2, was their marginal efficacy. The problem appears to be related to the quality rather than the quantity of antigen. Typical yields of baculovirus expressed VP2 can be up to 100mg of protein per 109 cells. It was reported that IBDV protein products represented approximately 12 to 13% of the total 4 mg/ml protein from a baculovirus infected Sf9 stationary cell lysate. That is about 0.5 mg/ml of IBDV protein antigen.
Larad has an exclusive worldwide license to the IBDV-VLP & IPNV-VLP technology covered under the following US Patents: 9,732,144; 10,086,062; & 10,100,101.
International patents for the same technology are pending.