Vaccines

FDA Biopharmaceutical Product Approvals and Trends in 2012

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted 18 new biopharmaceutical product approvals in 2012, covering a broad range of innovation, novelty, and healthcare and market impact. The total includes 16 full/original approvals: biologics license applications (BLAs) and new drug applications (NDAs). The other two products received supplemental approvals, both of them influenza vaccines. Among the 18 approvals were eight recombinant proteins, including two monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and one engineered antibody-like “trap” molecule. Table 1 lists them all. Table 1: FDA…

Implementation of Quality By Design in Vaccine Development

At the IBC Third Annual International Forum on Vaccine Production, I presented an outline of “Best Practices for Quality by Design (QbD) in Biological Products and How to Implement in Vaccines.” It covered process development and QbD principles, best practices used in biologics, how QbD fits in with process validation, how it applies to vaccines, and some thoughts on the potential for seasonal vaccines. Shifts in Process Development Classic process development (as practiced in the early days) generally involved rudimentary…

Rapid Detection of Pandemics

A Coronavirus — like severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) — is back in the headlines. On returning from a trip to Saudi Arabia in summer 2012, a Qatari national was struck down by a mystery respiratory illness. Because of inadequate diagnostic capabilities, the patient was transferred from Qatar to London for intensive-care treatment and diagnosis. The UK Health Protection Agency (HPA) confirmed infection with the same Coronavirus strain discovered by a Dutch team following the death of a Saudi national…

Carrier Protein Outsourcing

    Vaccines represent a significant, increasing area of product development within the biopharmaceutical industry. The segment includes several blockbuster commercial products, nearly 300 vaccines currently in development, and many more candidates in various stages of research and preclinical development (1). The 2010 worldwide vaccine market was ~US$20 billion and is projected to approach $30 billion by 2015 (2). Conjugate vaccines sales currently exceed $7 billion and are expected to increase substantially. Conjugate vaccines (covalently linked polysaccharide and protein) have…

Production of a Viral-Vectored Vaccine Candidate Against Tuberculosis

    Vaccines are among the most efficacious and cost-effective human health interventions available. They provide protection against a surprisingly broad spectrum of infectious diseases. Notable recent successes protect against human papillomavirus (Cervarix and Gardasil vaccines from GlaxoSmithKline and Merck, respectively) and rotavirus (Rotarix and RotaTeq vaccines from GlaxoSmithKline and Merck, respectively). However, generating reliable sterilizing or therapeutic immunity is still not possible against a number of latent and chronic pathogens that especially affect people in developing countries. Among those…

Large-Scale, Insect-Cell–Based Vaccine Development

    Vaccines are among biotechnological products characterized by continuous growth over the past decade. According to a 2011 report, the global vaccine market is expected to reach US$34 billion in sales by 2013 (1). Much development can be ascribed to vaccine treatments for cancer, autoimmune, and infectious diseases (which have risen significantly) as well as the growing worldwide population and emergence of new pandemics. Although to date the main health impact of vaccines is still in disease prevention, the…

Production of CGMP-Grade Lentiviral Vectors

Lentiviral vectors are important tools for gene transfer because of their ability to transduce a number of cell types without the need for host cells to be dividing (1, 2). As a result, investigators are using them as gene delivery vehicles in clinical applications (3,4,5,6). Although these vectors are used routinely in many research laboratories, large-scale production using current good manufacturing practice (CGMP) methods comes with a set of challenges that must be considered as more clinical trials using lentiviral…

Use of Blast Freezers in Vaccine Manufacture

    Vaccines are powerful and cost effective prophylactic tools for protecting public health. The Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI) estimates that ~5.4 million lives are saved each year by the administration of vaccines for hepatitis B, measles, haemophilus influenza type B (hib), pertussis (whooping cough), yellow fever, and polio (1). According to the World Health Organization, seasonal influenza alone claims 250,000–500,000 lives every year globally, many of which could be prevented by more widespread vaccination with the…

Trends and New Technology in Vaccine Manufacturing

Significant changes are sweeping the vaccine manufacturing industry. Demand for human vaccines is predicted to grow significantly — in part driven by needs in emerging countries, where only small fractions of their large and growing populations has access to vaccines. Sustained growth is expected to yield a vaccine market of US$25 billion by the year 2015 (1). Relatively low immunization rates in the Asia–Pacific regions represent significant untapped potential for vaccine manufacturers. Growing populations, increased government funding, and increasing personal…

Pseudomonas fluorescens Expression Technology for Subunit Vaccine Production and Development

New methods and platforms for rapid development and production of effective subunit vaccines have become a 21st-century imperative. Not only is it important to rapidly express and produce a large number of antigens, but those antigens must be expressed and folded such that their effectiveness in preclinical studies is predictive of their potential effectiveness as vaccines. This task has created a bottleneck in vaccine development because recombinant protein expression is difficult and time-consuming, involving a large number of variables. Highly…