Harrisvaccines Inc. received the Tibbetts award from the Small Business Administration (SBA) for its technological innovation, entrepreneurship and economic impact.
“This award represents the culmination of an effort we began six years ago when we started this endeavor,” said Hank Harris, professor of animal science and veterinary diagnostic and production animal medicine at Iowa State University and president of Harrisvaccines Inc.
The company received the award for its leadership in the development, production and marketing of a vaccine manufacturing process to improve the health of swine, cattle and farmed shrimp. The alphavirus RNA Platform process uses a uniform vaccine production method to quickly respond to biological threats by targeting mutating viral agents.
Harrisvaccines Inc. is applying for U.S. Department of Agriculture approval for a swine influenza vaccine using its RNA particle technology. The company also has done research and product development for Porcine Reproductive Respiratory Syndrome Virus, Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus in cattle and swine and produced vaccines for the shrimp industry.
The SBA presents the award to businesses or individuals who participate in its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program. The award is named after Roland Tibbetts, who was instrumental in developing the program.
Tibbetts started the SBIR program as an experimental project at the National Science Foundation almost 30 years ago. Since then the program has developed more than $21 billion worth of research through more than 15,000 firms and producing more than 45,000 patents.