Vaccines

Going After a Moving Target: New Production Methods Aid in the Flu Fight

The traditional method of manufacturing vaccines for influenza involves infecting hens’ eggs with the virus, then harvesting and purifying the large amounts of virus that they produce as a result. It’s time-consuming and expensive, requiring large specialized facilities for production. With the advent of genetic engineering and decades of improvement in protein production through cell-line engineering and industrial culture, it was only a matter of time before the vaccine industry saw the real value in modern biomanufacturing instead (1, 2).…

Membrane-Based Clarification of Polysaccharide Vaccines

Polysaccharide vaccines are essential for protection against infectious diseases, which remain an alarming cause of mortality. The first glycoconjugate vaccine for use in humans — a Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) conjugate — was licensed in the United States in 1987. This vaccine successfully reduced the incidence of invasive Hib disease in childhood and led to the further development of conjugate vaccines designed to prevent infection by other encapsulated bacteria (1). Polysaccharides are relatively complex carbohydrates made up of many…

Lot Release and Characterization Testing of Live-Virus–Based Vaccines and Gene Therapy Products

The January 2005 CMC Strategy Forum was devoted to a discussion of live virus vaccines and viral vectors used for gene therapy. The purpose of the meeting was to determine whether consensus positions could be reached among the delegates regarding lot release, stability, characterization, and comparability testing. Part 1 of this two-part report on that meeting describes factors influencing the choices of lot-release assays for vaccines and gene-therapy products (1). Part 2 presents potency testing, characterization, and comparability studies, including…

Culturing a Duck ES-Derived Cell Line in Single-Use Bioreactors: A Rapid, Efficient, and Cost-Effective Vaccine Manufacturing System Based on Suspension Culture

Cell substrates managed in controlled culture environments have become, over the past few decades, the subject of intensive technological developments for the biomanufacturing of viral vaccines. The driving force of such work is an expanding demand for safety, high production capacities, cost savings, and flexibility. Egg, tissue, and primary-cell–based manufacturing methods of limited capacity are now considered to be outdated technologies. In the influenza vaccine field, for example, time delays in vaccine delivery (especially during pandemic responses) have increased concerns…

The Importance of the Concentration-Temperature-Viscosity Relationship for the Development of Biologics

JIM DELILLO (WWW.FREEIMAGES.COM) Patient preference and a competitive landscape in the parenteral market have fueled the need for convenient delivery systems and a desire for less‑frequent dosing injections. Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) often have high dose requirements, so they must be formulated at very high concentrations (1). At low concentrations, an antibody solution’s viscosity increases moderately as a function of protein concentration. But at high concentrations (>100 mg/ mL, depending on the molecule), viscosity increases exponentially (2, 3). Thus, a specification…

Special Report: The Path to Vaccine Profitability

Managing vaccine supply chain improvements involves a complex interaction of laboratories, other facilities, CMOs, and suppliers. Since the business of making vaccines became a commercial proposition, profitability has often been elusive. The economics are difficult: Costs of development and production, already high, are rising. Profit margins historically have been lower than those of other pharmaceutical products, in part because of the complexities of manufacturing and distributing vaccines as well as their stringent safety, testing, and quality requirements.

Bioprocess Advances Drive Vaccine Manufacturing in Developing Countries

Advances in bioprocessing technology hardware and genetic engineering are expanding the geographic options for biologics manufacturing to include developing and emerging economies. Such advances are beginning to permit biopharmaceutical production in regions that previously lacked the technical expertise or quality processes to permit complex operations, monitoring, record-keeping, and oversight. Global demand by countries for in-country production of biological vaccines is increasing, so those products tend to be leading the way in terms of adoption of modern bioprocessing in developing countries.…

Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine Made in Modular Facilities with Single-Use Technology

If current efforts to eradicate polioviruses worldwide are successful, then the oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV) currently used for routine immunization in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) will be replaced by inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV). IPV will become the only option for such countries if they want to continue to vaccinate against polio (1). Because IPV is currently considered to be too expensive for use in LMICs, strategies are being undertaken to make IPV more affordable (2). Some experts estimate that…

Preparedness Ahead of Pandemic Outbreaks

Lively debate in 2012 concerned the risks and benefits of laboratory studies that created a contagious H5N1 avian pandemic influenza (flu) laboratory-strain virus. One benefit of the public debate is that it reminded governments of the increasingly likely and disastrous possibility of a devastating flu pandemic on the scale of the Spanish influenza outbreak of 1918. Natural evolution of circulating H5N1 viruses could lead to emergence of a deadly and contagious strain (1). Here we outline conventional flu vaccine options…

Development of Protein Capsular Matrix Vaccine Platform Technology

Polysaccharide vaccines account for about 30% of the total >$20-billion/year vaccine market. Despite efficacious vaccines in the field, diseases such as invasive Streptococcus pneumoniae and typhoid fever persist. Development of multivalent polysaccharide conjugate vaccines requires complex chemistries and multiple, expensive good manufacturing practice (GMP) process steps. Matrivax Research and Development Corporation is developing a protein capsular matrix vaccine (PCMV) technology that simplifies synthesis of polysaccharide vaccines with fewer process steps than are required by typical conjugation vaccine processes. Polysaccharide Vaccine…