Ames-based Genvax Technologies, a startup bringing advances in self-amplifying mRNA (saRNA) for animal vaccines, will move toward getting regulatory approval of its vaccines with $6.5 million in new series seed funding. According to a press release, the company is seeking U.S. Department of Agriculture and international approval “in anticipation of any foreign animal disease outbreak in order to increase health and profitability in livestock production.”

The company’s saRNA platform allows for rapid vaccine development that is a 100% match to the variant strain circulating in animal production.

“The threat posed to producers and consumers by foreign animal diseases like African Swine Fever (ASF) and constantly mutating variants of swine influenza is extraordinary. … For ASF, Genvax’s vaccine could be an important tool for eradication efforts and may alleviate any concerns with trading partners abroad,” Joel Harris, CEO and co-founder of Genvax Technologies, said in the release. 

United Animal Health, Johnsonville Ventures and the Iowa Corn Growers Association led the fundraising with Summit Agricultural Group and Ag Startup Engine.