Earlier this week Memphis-based US Biologic announced the successful field trials of it’s revolutionary Lyme disease vaccine. The vaccine, given to animals orally, creates antibodies that then attack the Lyme disease passed on from a tick bite.
Although the vaccine is being developed for animals, the company sees a connection between stopping the spread of Lyme disease in animals and doing the same for humans.
“The CDC has long-acknowledged a ‘One Health’ approach to preventing infectious diseases by linking animal and human treatments,” says US BIOLOGIC board director Tom Monath, MD. “US BIOLOGIC’s oral bait vaccine is an important example of how a vaccine for animals, in this case the white-footed mouse reservoir of Lyme disease, can break the Lyme disease transmission cycle.”
Lyme disease is no joke. According to the CDC, it affects over 300,000 people in the U.S. each year and can cause severe damage to joints and the neurologic system. The CDC also recently linked Lyme disease with several deaths due to cardiac disease.
What’s unique about US Biologic, though, is that they don’t plan on stopping at Lyme disease. The success of that vaccine proves that stopping diseases in animals will also help curb them in humans. They are essentially creating a platform from which they can develop treatments for any number of common diseases.
“The success of these field trials introduces a technology platform that can break the transmission of many diseases transmitted by animals,” says US BIOLOGIC board member David Williams, former Chairman & CEO of Sanofi Pasteur, the world’s largest vaccine provider. “Because of the large and growing number of cases, the focus on Lyme disease is a logical first step.”
Stories like that of US Biologic are what make “everywhere else” such a special place. We love all the technology that comes from Silicon Valley. Hey, we’re on Secret as much as the rest of you!
But it’s awesome to see what smart people outside the Valley are capable of, even if it’s not the sexiest new consumer app. I probably won’t be bragging to my friends that I just gave my cat the latest Lyme disease drug, but when it keeps my family healthy, I’m sure going to be grateful to US Biologic.