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Dow Agrosciences Teams With USDA Lab To Develop West Nile Virus Vaccine


10/19/2005 5:11:42 PM

INDIANAPOLIS, June 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Dow AgroSciences LLC has signed a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) laboratory in Laramie, Wyo., to develop a plant- made vaccine to protect against West Nile virus.

West Nile virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes, is fatal to about one-third of infected horses, while about 2 percent of humans infected become seriously ill or die. West Nile virus is also a threat to birds.

The research and development collaboration between Dow AgroSciences and the USDA-ARS Arthropod-Borne Animal Disease Research Laboratory resulted when both parties recognized the potential of producing the vaccine in plant systems.

Plant-made vaccines are highly robust, which may result in needle-free delivery techniques such as through food, water or inhaled mist. In addition, an attractive safety aspect of using plant-made vaccines is that there is less chance of contamination with extraneous disease agents during use.

Dow AgroSciences is a world leader in plant biotechnology and plant-made biologics for the treatment of animals. "This agreement with USDA-ARS is an exciting opportunity for us to apply our technology to bring new solutions to a real and immediate problem," said Butch Mercer, global business leader, Animal Health and Nutrition for Dow AgroSciences.

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with USDA-ARS, which, in addition to its longstanding expertise in West Nile virus, has specialized laboratories for the development of vaccines and other biological products," Mercer said.

Dow AgroSciences LLC, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, is a global leader in providing pest management and biotechnology products that improve the quality and quantity of the earth's food supply and contribute to the health and quality of life of the world's growing population. Dow AgroSciences has approximately 5,700 people in over 50 countries dedicated to its business, and has worldwide sales of US $3 billion. Dow AgroSciences is a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of The Dow Chemical Company. For more information about Dow AgroSciences, visit http://www.dowagro.com/ .

Dow AgroSciences LLC

CONTACT: Robyn Heine of Dow AgroSciences, +1-317-337-4807, orrheine@dow.com



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