SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2016

BYU engineers develop more efficient vaccine-production method

Chemical engineers find faster vaccine development method | Courtesy of henryschein.com
Chemical engineers from Brigham Young University have found a way to accelerate the development and production process for creating vaccines designed to protect people from new viruses.

The system applies a freeze-dry concept for a vaccine solution that needs just water. Researchers can use this method to make biological machinery needed to mass produce vaccines. Then, this machinery can be forced into a freeze-dried state so it can be stockpiled throughout the U.S. Local labs can place water into a kit to create vaccines as new viruses hit.

"You could just pull it off the shelf and make it," Brad Bundy, senior author and associate professor of chemical engineering, said. "We could make the vaccine and be ready for distribution in a day."

This approach could change how vaccines are distributed around the world.

"It will not only provide a quicker response to pandemics, but it will also make protein-based drugs more available to third-world countries where production and refrigerated storage can be problematic," William Pitt, a study co-author and fellow BYU professor of chemical engineering, said.

This discovery could forever improve medicine and vaccine delivery.

"The drugs today are changing," Bundy said. "The lifesaving cancer drugs we have now, the drugs for arthritis, the drugs with the greatest impact, are made out of proteins, not small chemical molecules. This method takes full advantage of that to provide a quicker, more personal response."

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Brigham Young University 1 N University Ave Provo, UT 84601

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