FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 30, 2016

Mexico welcomes first recombinant influenza vaccine

Approved for use in Mexico, the new vaccine uses a single gene from the original pathogen rather than the entire pathogen. | File photo

Mexico recently received the registry for the world’s first recombinant vaccine for seasonal influenza from the Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk.

The drug, named Flublock, was first approved and developed at Protein Sciences Corp. To receive approval, the Institute of Biotechnology of the National University of Mexico transferred the vaccine’s analytical information. The commission stated that the goal is to start marketing the vaccine during the first quarter of this year.

The new vaccine uses a single gene from the original pathogen rather than the entire pathogen. This vaccine contains H1N1 and H3N2 influenza virus strains. The vaccine uses hemagglutinin coding to express influenza infections in organic compounds that typically aren’t involved in the virus, like gluten, eggs, latex, gelatin or conservatives.

"Working with the DNA of the virus has several advantages, for example, it does not need to be cultivated and there is no risk for the handlers who make the vaccine or the environment," Dr. Laura Palomares, lead researcher at Protein Sciences Corp,, said.

The goal is to use the single gene from the strain to make a broad immune response rather than one specific to a certain strain. This should help to protect people against a wide variety of influenza strains.

This process also reduces how much time it takes to develop a vaccine.

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