MAb

Sustainability in Bioprocessing

    The concept of sustainability has evolved over the past few decades to describe conditions for harmonious coexistence of industry and nature while meeting socioeconomic requirements of present and future generations. For this environmentally focused report, I like the simple definition offered by Armstrong International, a provider of steam, air, and hot water systems that improve utility performance, lower energy consumption, and reduce environmental emissions. According to a brochure that in part describes its work with Pfizer, Armstrong defines…

Monoclonal Antibody Manufacturing

    Continuing the theme of this occasional series, we examine the role of manufacturing in the supply chain in terms of what is required to deliver affordable medicines to patients. The industry has debated the relevance of manufacturing costs in the overall big picture (1). Rising manufacturing costs as a proportion of the overall selling price coupled with increased competitive pressures creates a strong drive to reduce manufacturing costs. However, cost of goods (CoG) is not the only strategic…

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…

Evaluating Disposable Depth Filtration Platforms for MAb Harvest Clarification

At small to medium scales, single-use technology offers significant advantages over traditional reusable (e.g., stainless steel) manufacturing technology with regard to flexibility, cost of goods, implementation timelines, and maintenance. However, process design based on disposables does create new challenges. With traditional fed-batch processes, harvest clarification is usually achieved by centrifugation followed by depth filtration. For processes based entirely on disposables, the disc-stack centrifuge needs to be replaced by filtration alone. To extend its manufacturing capabilities and capacities, Rentschler decided to…

Development of a Universal Influenza Vaccine

    Seasonal influenza affects millions of people around the world, with as many as 500,000 deaths annually resulting from influenza-related illnesses. The flu virus undergoes frequent and unpredictable mutations (antigenic drift and shift) that limit the ability of available strain-specific vaccines to protect the population against strains other than those specifically included in a particular season’s flue vaccine. Annual reformulation of the vaccines is needed for annual immunizations. BiondVax Pharmaceuticals Ltd., an Israeli biotechnology company, is developing a universal…

Comparing H1N1 Virus Quantification with a Unique Flow Cytometer and Quantitative PCR

    A novel influenza A (H1N1) virus was discovered in Mexico in early 2009 (1). Infections from this strain led to declaration of a pandemic midyear, with about 61 million patients and 13,000 deaths reported by the US Centers for Disease Control (2). Although the pandemic officially ended in August 2010 (3), vaccines are still in demand to protect people against the H1N1 strain that is now expected to circulate seasonally for years to come. To best respond to…

DNA Vaccine Technology

    Picture rows and rows of chicken eggs incubating not to hatch chickens, but to produce vaccines. With the exception of a few products on the market now, most vaccines are still made using this 50-year-old technology. Using chicken eggs to produce vaccines takes about half a year to complete and requires on average one to two eggs to make a single vaccine dose. It is inefficient, labor intensive, time consuming, and subject to contamination. The latter may be…

Electroporation-Enhanced Delivery of DNA Vaccines

    Vaccines represent one of the most important medical developments in human history. As recently as a century ago, infectious diseases were the main cause of death worldwide, even in the most developed countries. For instance, the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 killed more people than all the bullets and bombs did during World War I (1). Today, a vast range of vaccines are available to protect against more than two dozen infectious diseases, especially in pediatrics. Our society…

Considerations in Scale-Up of Viral Vaccine Production

    On 28 June 2011, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations declared the Rinderpest cattle plague virus to be the second troublesome virus (after smallpox) that humans have eradicated from the Earth (1). Such achievements herald exciting times both for classical vaccinology and for many new and developing technologies. Here we consider scaling up of vaccines and related hybrid, targeted, and conjugated viral therapeutics that are made through animal cell culture. The vaccine industry is now…

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…