Vaccines

eBook: Vaccines — COVID-19 Invigorates a Stagnant Industry

The SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus has galvanized what was a stagnant and oligopoly-run vaccine industry. In this inaugural BioProcess Insider eBook, the first of four to be published in 2021, founding editor Dan Stanton explores economic and technical conditions that until now have hampered innovation in vaccine development and discouraged market entry for emerging biotechnology companies. Leveraging commentary from vaccine industry experts and analyzing the range of emerging vaccine modalities, Stanton surveys how industry responses to the COVID-19 pandemic are fostering…

Exciting Starts for New Players and Platforms: Nucleic-Acid Vaccines Prepare for Their Commercial Debut

Although vaccine platforms based on messenger RNA (mRNA) are enjoying the limelight in the wake of emergency authorizations of products from Pfizer–BioNTech and Moderna, DNA vaccines are poised to make their own commercial debuts soon. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that six of the 48 candidate vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 that remain in clinical trials are DNA-based products, as are 14 others in preclinical study (1). I spoke with Hong Jiang (cofounder and chief operating officer of Aegis Life, Inc.)…

Cold-Chain Validation: Emerging Vaccines for COVID-19 and Beyond Require More Extensive Evaluation

In the wake of fast-track approvals for Pfizer’s and Moderna’s respective SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, now begins the largest immunization campaign in world history. Its success will depend not only on the products’ safety and efficacy, but also on several mass-distribution programs requiring significant cold-chain infrastructure. The public has become acutely aware of the Pfizer vaccine’s demanding cryostorage specifications, generating considerable anxiety about how mass distribution will happen. Behind the scenes, however, cold-chain engineering companies such as Modality Solutions have worked alongside…

Enhancing Vaccine Platforms: Computational Models Accelerate Development, Manufacturing, and Distribution

Pandemics such as the current COVID-19 outbreak pose tremendous healthcare and economic challenges. Vaccines hold promise for controlling pandemics; however, substantial challenges come with pandemic-response vaccine development, manufacturing, distribution, and administration. To address those now, many companies are using rapid-response vaccine-production platform technologies. Computational modeling tools could help further accelerate development of those technologies, increase production and distribution efficiencies, and reduce costs and risks once vaccine platforms are fully developed and validated. To those ends, a set of modeling methodologies…

Advanced Analytics to Accelerate Development of Genetic Vaccines

Biopharmaceutical companies are racing to develop vaccines that mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic, taking a wide range of vaccine-development approaches that include traditional modalities and cutting-edge technologies based on DNA and RNA. Vaccine developers are leveraging robust manufacturing concepts and integrated processes to shorten timelines. Advanced analytics also are playing a critical role in ensuring the safety and efficacy of those emerging vaccines. A New Wave of Vaccines Vaccines based on attenuated viruses entail development timelines ranging from four years to…

Reacting to a Pandemic: Innovations in Vaccine Development

Vaccine research, development, and production are multifaceted endeavors. The industry faces a constant need for new methods to increase speed, yield, and product stability — and to produce new vaccines cost-effectively to ensure a stable supply chain. Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, other viral infections such as influenza and rabies already challenged the world and caused millions of deaths (1). Since the 18th century, vaccination has proven to be the most (and in many cases, the only) successful route to…

A New Runway for Purification of Messenger RNA

A high-performing capture method is a critical bedrock asset for developing industrial purification processes. This is especially true for extended families of products that share highly similar chemical composition. Therapeutic monoclonal IgG is an example. The ability of protein A affinity chromatography to achieve 95% purity in one simple step was the runway that got recombinant immunotherapy off the ground and made it available to millions. In fact, protein A did more. Beyond giving the industry a foundation manufacturing method,…

eBook: Cancer Vaccines ⁠— Innovation Fuels an Immunotherapy Renaissance

Despite early successes a decade ago, cancer vaccines designed to deliver peptides or proteins — or nucleic acids encoding those antigens — generally have fizzled out since then. As a result, cancer vaccine development and the field of immunotherapy lost some traction overall. But as freelance contributor Jim Kling describes in this eBook, new innovations in product design, testing, and manufacturing are fueling a renaissance in cancer vaccine development. From checkpoint inhibitors to neoantigens, immune regulators, and beyond, companies are…

Process Intensification of Viral-Based Vaccines: Where Are the Bottlenecks?

In the current coronavirus pandemic, the ability to scale up and produce viral-based vaccines (attenuated viral vaccines, inactivated viral vaccines, and viral vector vaccines) quickly and in large quantities has never before been more relevant. For viral-based vaccines that can be produced by adherent or suspension cell culture, process intensification — in which cell culture, for example, is optimized to produce higher viral titers using the same process equipment — offers a strategy to produce larger numbers of doses in…

eBook: Next-Generation Vaccines — COVID-19 Challenges, Opportunities, and Patent Questions

Resolving the COVID-19 pandemic depends on treatments, testing, and ultimately a widely disseminated vaccine against SARS-CoV-2. In recent decades, the biopharmaceutical industry has developed new approaches to vaccination using antigens, virus-like particles (VLPs), viral and bacterial vectors, and nucleic acids. Current events have placed those innovations at the front and center of public attention, offering many companies an opportunity to demonstrate their potential in an unprecedented way. Here, BPI’s senior technical editor describes the challenges that developers face in doing…