Patent awarded for Delta-pgm vaccine for prevention of brucellosis

MAYFIELD, PA -- 06/02/2009 Dr. Vito G. Delvecchio, along with scientists Dr. Rodolfo A. Ugalde, Dr. Juan E. Ugalde and Dr. Diego J. Comerci, has been awarded United States patent # 7,541,447 B2 in effect June 2, 2009 for a live attenuated vaccine that prevents brucellosis. Dr. Delvecchio is President and founder of Vital Probes, Inc. a biotechnology firm in Northeast, Pennsylvania.

Brucellosis is considered to be one of the most serious diseases in livestock. While its hallmark symptom is abortion, it also results in decreased milk production, weight loss in animals, infertility, and lameness. The disease is transmitted through contaminated and untreated milk, direct contact with other infected animals, aborted fetuses, calf-afterbirth, and other reproductive tract discharges. It can also affect humans.

The spread of brucellosis in cattle can have a significant economic impact on the livestock industry. During 2006 over 4.4 million calves were vaccinated against brucellosis in the United States. In Argentina, a leading beef producer and exporter, over 5 million calves are vaccinated against brucellosis each year. Use of the Delta-pgm vaccine will result in lower cattle morbidity, mortality and associated economic losses, especially in emerging Asian markets where the commercial potential is yet to be tapped. India, for example, has over 280 million cattle which constitute 16% of the global cattle population.

In 2008 the Delta-pgm invention received the DuPont-CONICET prize, a distinction created to promote science and research in Argentina and recognize significant achievements. This award is presented annually. Receipt of the United States patent for this invention is the culmination of sixteen years of work.

Vital Probes plans to commercialize this vaccine globally through licensing and other partnerships.


Paul Grewal, MpAff




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