AgVA’s Portfolio Company Genvax Technologies Securies $6.5 Million to Advance saRNA Platform

Genvax Technologies Secures $6.5 Million to Advance
saRNA Platform to Rapidly Deploy Candidate
Vaccines against New and Emerging Livestock
Diseases


United Animal Health, Johnsonville Ventures, and the Iowa Corn Growers
Association commit support to Genvax’s paradigm shift in vaccine response
to foreign animal diseases.

Ames, IA, August 9, 2022 – Genvax Technologies, a startup dedicated to bringing
advances in self-amplifying mRNA (saRNA) vaccine production to animal health,
announced today it has secured $6.5 million in series seed funding. This funding moves
the company toward USDA and international regulatory approval of its vaccines in
anticipation of any foreign animal disease outbreak in order to increase health and
profitability in livestock production.

The company’s proprietary saRNA platform allows for rapid development of herd or
flock-specific vaccines matched 100% to the variant strain circulating in an
animal-production operation. By inserting a specific transgene or “gene of interest”
(GOI) matched to the variant strain into the platform, the saRNA can generate an
antibody response without requiring the whole pathogen.

“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,”
said Joel Harris, CEO and co-founder of Genvax Technologies. “The goal is to develop
a vaccine that matches 100 percent to the specific strain when a disease outbreak
occurs. For ASF, Genvax’s vaccine could be an important tool for eradication efforts and
may alleviate any concerns with trading partners abroad. In addition, the financial and
public support of multiple stakeholders like United Animal Health and others in the food
industry is a huge validation of this technology’s promise.”

In April 2022, Genvax announced it had received more than $145,000 in grant funding
from the USDA-Agricultural Research Services Plum Island Animal Disease Center
(USDA-ARS-PIADC) and the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) to
develop a saRNA vaccine for African Swine Fever virus. ASF can cause up to 100%
mortality in pigs and could decimate the income of U.S. pork producers and force
layoffs, significantly reducing rural employment. Economic models estimate the worst
case scenario of an ASF outbreak in the US would result in a $50 billion loss to the
domestic pig industry.

United Animal Health led the financing with participation from Johnsonville Ventures,
Iowa Corn Growers Association, Summit Agricultural Group, and Ag Startup Engine.
This investor coalition represents animal health, nutrition, feed, meat packers, and
consumer products in the fight against existing and emerging threats to the food supply
chain.

“United Animal Health sees Genvax and self-amplifying mRNA vaccines as the cutting
edge of technology to protect the industries we serve,” said Scott Holmstrom, Ph.D.,
Senior Vice President, Research and Development of United Animal Health. “These
technologies are critical to food security and protein availability. We are excited to be
offering our innovation and research farms to work carefully with Genvax in developing
these future products.”

“We’ve been impressed with Joel Harris and the Genvax team, in addition to the novel
technology they are developing,” said Kevin Ladwig, Managing Director of Johnsonville
Ventures. “As a stakeholder in the pork industry, we feel this is a necessary step in
helping prepare for and protect against African Swine Fever and other emerging
diseases.”

“Iowa Corn recognizes the importance of protecting the livestock industry against
emerging diseases such as African Swine Fever,” said Pete Brecht, Director of the Iowa
Corn Promotion Board. “ Iowa is a leader in both corn and pork production, we know the
value of investing in the protection of our animals and the livelihoods of our farmers
across the state. Genvax has a novel approach and an experienced management team
to address such an important issue for agriculture.”

Genvax was founded in February 2021 by animal health serial entrepreneurs Joel
Harris and Hank Harris, DVM Ph.D. In addition to the non-dilutive grant funding from
USDA-ARS-PIADC and FFAR, the company raised approximately $1.9 million in a
pre-seed round of funding.

Genvax Media Media Contact
Genvax CEO/Co-Founder Joel Harris
515-686-4676
PR@genvax.com