Newcastle disease is a contagious and lethal viral disease that affects most species of birds and is especially fatal in chickens. Current NDV vaccines do not provide long-lasting immunity and generally leave birds vulnerable to strains of NDV originating from abroad. Because the vaccine only provides short term protection, it must be applied several times to protect birds throughout their lifetime. In fact, NDV vaccines have the highest dose sold in the world.
Researchers in the Department of Veterinary Medicine at the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) Siba Samal, Sunil Khattar, and Sweety Samal have improved the effectives of the NDV vaccine by modifying the Newcastle virus. They have thus increased the immunogenicity of live vaccines, the duration of immunity from a single vaccination, and the immunity to foreign strains of NDV. The modified virus has shown increased growth in the laboratory, which translates into increased vaccine production and significantly lower costs for poultry producers.
Moreover, because NDV is an intrinsically tumor-specific virus, it acts as an anti-cancer agent. The modified NDV improves the virus’ clinical anti-cancer activity. Dr. Siba Samal, Associate Dean and Chairman of the Department of Veterinary Medicine, explains that “oncolytic viruses replicate selectively in tumor cells and exert anti-tumor activity. Among all oncolytic viruses, NDV is the most promising. Our invention will increase the replication of NDV. Hence, our modified NDV will replicate faster in tumor cells, which will kill tumor cells faster than regular NDV.”
Dr. Samal also expresses his gratitude and surprise about being nominated. “We were pleasantly surprised to know that our invention has been nominated. It is a good feeling to know that your invention is recognized as one of the best in a group of other good inventions.”
In 2013, the Office of Technology Commercialization (OTC) received 154 invention disclosures from the university’s renowned faculty. Ten of these inventions were selected as finalists for the Invention of the Year Award, based on their impact on science, society, and market potential. Winners will be announced on April 29, 2014 at the Celebration of Innovation and Partnerships event.
About OTC: The University of Maryland created OTC in 1986 to provide expert guidance, support, and assistance in safeguarding intellectual property, encouraging research, facilitating technological transfer, and promoting collaborative research and development agreements with industrial sponsors. Visit their website for more information.
April 23, 2014