Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Existing Vaccine Facilities Can Handle Flu Pandemic, New Research Suggests

Date:
September 15, 2006
Source:
University of Michigan
Summary:
The most cost effective and quickest way to respond to a flu pandemic within the next five years is to use existing facilities to make vaccines from cell cultures, new research suggests.

The most cost effective and quickest way to respond to a flu pandemic within the next five years is to use existing facilities to make vaccines from cell cultures, new research suggests.

Related Articles


In a study led by University of Michigan professor of chemical and biomedical engineering Henry Wang and doctoral student Lyle Lash, researchers examined the economics of producing egg versus cell culture vaccines in the event of a flu pandemic. They found that training personnel to make cell culture vaccines in existing facilities is the only way to make enough doses to cover the United States in a short time without requiring huge capital investments to build new dedicated flu vaccine cell culture facilities.

The study builds upon research presented last year at the American Chemical Society National Meeting. This research will be also be presented at ACS in the "Economics of Biopharmaceutical Processes" session at 2 p.m. on Sept. 14. The research presented last year focused on how the use of existing cell culture facilities and other vaccine development and manufacturing changes can cut down the time to respond to a pandemic.

Currently, flu vaccines are made from hen eggs, but in light of a possible pandemic and ongoing shortages even during normal flu season, the government and private corporations have been scrambling for new and faster ways to make a flu vaccine. Some options include building new and bigger facilities or to retrofit existing facilities.

The reasons to shift from egg to cell culture production are time and capacity, both of which are critical factors in responding to a pandemic, researchers said. It takes much longer to compile millions of hen eggs than it would to grow up existing cell lines from frozen vials, Lash said. While cell culture has a lower yield than egg culture, there is more existing capacity for cell culture than for inoculating and processing eggs.

"Based on existing dosages, we'd have enough doses in about 3 to 4 months to cover the U.S. with the system we propose," Lash said. Currently, it would take six months to make 250 to 300 million doses of pandemic flu vaccine for the United States. "What we're proposing could make 600 million doses in four months."

There are about 15 facilities in the country that make protein products from mammalian cell cultures where personnel could be trained to make flu vaccines using cell cultures, said Lash.

The expense for companies would be the cost of the downtime necessary to train personnel and to run test batches, researchers said. With research into different processes for purifying the vaccine, it would not be necessary to renovate facilities, he said.

Many companies have been investing in developing cell culture flu vaccines due to government funding and the increase in price of the seasonal flu vaccine, Lash said. Before there became a flu vaccine shortage, one dose cost about $1.60. Now, each dose commands $8 to $10.

This profit margin is still low compared to the profits that existing cell culture facilities can make off their protein products. Lash said for the plan to work there must be some type of government funding to subsidize companies for lost production time due to training staff. Researchers envision a sort of national guard approach, with staff trained and on standby to respond to an pandemic.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Michigan. "Existing Vaccine Facilities Can Handle Flu Pandemic, New Research Suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060914180752.htm>.
University of Michigan. (2006, September 15). Existing Vaccine Facilities Can Handle Flu Pandemic, New Research Suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060914180752.htm
University of Michigan. "Existing Vaccine Facilities Can Handle Flu Pandemic, New Research Suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060914180752.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) Colorado may have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the debate around the decision still continues, with a recent - failed - attempt to ban cannabis-infused edibles. Duration: 01:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

British Navy Ship Arrives in Sierra Leone With Ebola Aid

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) The British ship RFA ARGUS arrived in Sierra Leone to deliver supplies and equipment to help the fight against Ebola. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins