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Yissum Introduces a Pioneering Vaccine Against Canine Monocytic Ehrlichiosis, a Fatal Tick-Borne Disease in Dogs
[December 11, 2012]

Yissum Introduces a Pioneering Vaccine Against Canine Monocytic Ehrlichiosis, a Fatal Tick-Borne Disease in Dogs

JERUSALEM --(Business Wire)--

Canine monocytic ehrlichiosis (CME) is a major, potentially fatal, tick-borne dog disease prevalent worldwide. No commercial vaccine for the disease is currently available and tick control is the main preventive measure against the disease. Now, Yissum Research and Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, introduces a vaccine against CME, which was developed by Professors Shimon Harrus and Gad Baneth, from the Koret School of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Quality Sciences at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The vaccine has proven effective in an experimental study in dogs, which was recently published in the prestigious journal Vaccine.

Profs. Harrus and Baneth developed the vaccine from a proprietary attenuated strain of Ehrlichia canis, the bacteria that causes CME. The efficiency of the attenuated strain as a vaccine was assessed on 12 dogs, which were divided into three groups. Four dogs were inoculated (vaccinated) with the attenuated Ehrlichia strain twice, four dogs only once and the last group of four dogs served as the control group. The vaccinated dogs showed no clinical signs after the inoculation, suggesting that the novel vaccine is safe for use and does not induce adverse effcts. When the dogs were infected with a virulent Ehrlichia field strain, the control dogs all developed a severe disease, whereas only three of the eight vaccinated dogs presented mild transient fever and the rest remained healthy.

"Canine monocytic ehrlichiosis is a serious dog disease that can lead to death. Current treatment includes supportive care, and a harsh and lengthy antibiotic treatment, which may not be effective in chronic infections. The vaccine developed by Profs. Harrus and Baneth is the first vaccine to prove effective against this disease," said Yaacov Michlin, CEO of Yissum. "The current lack of vaccine for CME, the growing awareness of the market and the growing market needs make this invention particularly attractive, and Yissum is currently looking for commercial partners for further development and commercialization purposes."

About Canine Monocytic Ehrlichiosis

Canine monocytic ehrlichiosis is caused by a bacterium called Ehrlichia canis. Dogs get ehrlichiosis from the brown dog tick, which passes the Ehrlichia bacteria into the bloodstream when it bites. The disease may be acute or chronic. In the acute stage, occurring several weeks after infection and lasting for up to a month, there is usually fever and lowered peripheral blood cell counts. However, some dogs progress to the chronic phase, which may manifest in low blood cell counts (pancytopenia) due to bone marrow suppression, and bleeding, often resulting in death. Treatment for ehrlichiosis currently involves the use of antibiotics such as doxycycline for a period of at least four weeks.

CME is one of the most common infectious diseases in canines. It affects not only in pets but also foxes, wolves, jackals and other wild canines. The Global Veterinary Vaccines market in 2011 grossed $4.23 billion, and is to reach a market size of $5.6 billion by 2015. Within this market, Canine Vaccines are the fastest growing segment with a growth rate of above 5%

About Yissum

Yissum Research Development Company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Ltd. was founded in 1964 to protect and commercialize the Hebrew University's intellectual property. Products based on Hebrew University technologies that have been commercialized by Yissum currently generate $2 Billion in annual sales. Ranked among the top technology transfer companies in the world, Yissum has registered over 7,700 patents covering 2,200 inventions; has licensed out 580 technologies and has spun out 74 companies. Yissum's business partners span the globe and include companies such as Novartis, Microsoft, Johnson & Johnson, Merck, Intel (News - Alert), Teva and many more. For further information please visit

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