MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016

TNO Triskelion introduces new BSL-3 laboratory

TNO Triskelion announced on Monday that it upgraded one of its facilities to Biosafety Level 3, allowing the company to test vaccines against deadly viruses like avian flu.

The contract research organization, which performs research for the chemical, pharmaceutical and food industries, can now respond to a growing demand for testing facilities for the development of drugs against dangerous infectious diseases. TNO Triskelion said the facility can test new vaccines against mutating avian flu viruses to help the public more quickly.

The TNO Triskelion facility in Zeist, The Netherlands, was accredited as BSL-3 by Public Health England. The certification will allow all class three viruses and bacteria, including HIV, tuberculosis, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome virus and avian influenza, to be studied at the facility if necessary.

TNO Triskelion said the testing capacity for vaccines against these viruses is limited on a worldwide scale.

"There are few BSL-3 labs that can do this in compliance with (good laboratory practice) standards, whereas the demand of the pharmaceutical industry is increasing," John Dulos, a senior project manager of pharmaceuticals at TNO Triskelion, said. "There is a growing need to develop new drugs and treatments against viral infectious diseases. With this upgrade we increase the testing capacity. If more drugs can be tested, new vaccines can be introduced sooner."

TNO Triskelion plans to research avian flu at the BSL-3 facility. The avian influenza A H7N9 virus recently appeared in China and has claimed at least 40 lives.