MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

Vaccine derived from microalgal process shows influenza protection

Royal DSM, an international life and materials sciences company, announced Wednesday the results of a proof of concept study, which observed the efficacy of an influenza vaccine developed and produced by commercial microalgal platform systems.

The study, published in the journal PLOS ONE on Wednesday, announced that DSM's proprietary Schizochytrium platform used by researchers was successful in producing an influenza vaccine which protected a study group of mice from infection.

Schizochytrium is a cell-based process that is currently used in the production of nutritional supplements and food fortification. The commercial microalgal process may become the preferred method of vaccine manufacturing, since it is faster and more cost-effective than other production methods.

"Higher-yield, lower-cost, and faster influenza vaccine production processes are critical to meet the global supply and surge production capabilities needed to counter global epidemic and pandemic threats," Casey Lippmeier, the senior scientist who led the study at DSM, said.

The traditional manufacturing process requires the use of inactivated or attenuated preparations of live virus culture in chicken eggs and can take more than six months to produce. Each vaccine requires one or two egg samples per dose, which drives cost of production higher.

"This production system facilitates development of new flu vaccines with earlier availability ahead of flu season, multivalent formulations for protection against a greater number of flu strains, and potentially better matching of the flu vaccine to the strains circulating in a given year," Lippmeier said.