Company News: New Vaccine, Donation and Probiotic Milestone

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PRRSGard® vaccine now available in U.S. market

Pharmgate Animal Health has announced that PRRSGard®, a modified-live vaccine for Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome (PRRSV), is now available in the U.S. market, according to a company release.

The vaccine is a 1.0 milliliter, single-dose recombinant chimeric vaccine for PRRSV. It features an attenuated, lineage 1 PRRSV strain as a vaccine backbone, and a virulent, contemporary lineage 1 PRRSV field isolate, MN 1-8-4.  A non-encoding RNA sequence is inserted into the genome. This unique genetic marker allows diagnostic assay differentiation from “wild-type” virus strains, the release says.  

The company worked with researchers and customers to test PRRSGard® beyond what is needed for licensing, the release says. Trials have shown that the vaccine has low vaccine virus shed and spread, broad cross-strain immunity, and reduced lung lesions and viremia following a challenge. It has also been shown to reduce performance loss from pneumonia associated with PRRSV in growing pigs, the release states.

“PRRSV continues to be a costly disease and difficult to control in herds,” says Jeff OKones, technical services veterinarian with Pharmgate Animal Health in the release. “PRRSGard® is an innovative new tool created by Pharmgate’s product development team for veterinarians and producers to utilize in their herd health protocols to optimize pig performance in the face of PRRSV.”

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Gwaltney® Donates $50,000 to Roc Solid Foundation's Ready Bag Program

Gwaltney® has partnered with Roc Solid Foundation for the third consecutive year via a $50,000 donation toward its Ready Bag program. The program provides comfort items and essentials to families facing a pediatric cancer diagnosis, specifically when a child may require immediate hospitalization, according to a company release. The donation will support a goal to distribute 1,500 Ready Bags this year through the Building on Hope campaign, as well as the expansion of the Ready Bag program to additional children's hospitals in the Southeast.

Roc Solid Foundation is a nonprofit organization that focuses on two major initiatives: surprising kids with brand new backyard playsets and providing Ready Bags filled with supplies to families when they first hear the devastating news that their child has cancer, the release says.

"Partnering with Gwaltney for the third year allows us to reach even more families during a very difficult time," says Roc Solid Foundation's chief play officer Eric Newman, in the release. "Ready Bags not only provide the essentials they need for unexpected hospital stays, but they also send a powerful message to families that they're not alone as they begin the very scary journey of fighting pediatric cancer."

Gwaltney will further support Roc Solid Foundation's mission by fulfilling and delivering Ready Bags to hospitals in Norfolk, Va., Charlottesville, Va., Chapel Hill, N.C. and Charlotte, N.C.

Gwaltney is a brand of Smithfield Foods. For more information about the partnership, visit

Chr. Hansen's probiotic solution for pigs celebrates milestone

BioPlus® 2B and BioPlus® YC, Chr. Hansen’s probiotic portfolio for pigs from farrow to finish, has reached a 40-year milestone, and continues to be a strong solution in the farmers’ toolbox in their endeavor to obtain a more sustainable production based on natural solutions, according to a company release.

“We are very proud of celebrating this milestone with our customers around the world, who have seen, over the years, what BioPlus® can do for their animals. Added to feed, our science-based products contain highly selected strains of good bacteria that have been shown to support normal intestinal function. In addition, they improve the availability of absorbable nutrients from feed by producing digestive enzymes,” explains Mickaël Rouault, senior director, Commercial Development, Animal Health, Chr. Hansen, in the release.

“For the pig producer, this translates into a greater percentage of the herd showing normal performance, such as digestibility and feed efficiency, compared to groups that are not being fed BioPlus® 2B or BioPlus® YC – and it strengthens the sustainability profile because these advantages are obtained through natural means,” Chris Rhoden, manager, Business Development, Animal Health, Chr. Hansen adds in the release.

These are trends that have only been reinforced since the first product (called Biomate at the time) was introduced in 1980.

“We have indeed witnessed that market trends are shifting towards more sustainable farming at pace with increasing consumer demand for animal welfare and natural products. At the same time, antibiotic resistance is recognized as a huge global challenge, and it is documented that probiotics can help support a normal gut function and may reduce the need for antibiotics,” adds Rouault.