Challenges and Trends in Vaccine Manufacturing - An evaluation of the technologies and process parameters needed to develop a safe, effective, and economically efficient vaccine. This article is part


Challenges and Trends in Vaccine Manufacturing
An evaluation of the technologies and process parameters needed to develop a safe, effective, and economically efficient vaccine. This article is part of a special section on vaccines.

BioPharm International Supplements
Volume 24, Issue 10, pp. s3-s11


Figure 3: A generic process for animal cell culture based vaccine manufacturing using platform technologies. HCP is host cell protein.
One way to eliminate bottlenecks, especially in downstream-process development, is to use purification platforms. The biopharmaceutical manufacturing industry has communicated timesavings of 3–8 months using a fast-track development approach when technology platforms are applied in all key aspects of development. This includes upstream as well as downstream processing, such as cell-line development, cell culture, downstream processing, analytical concepts, and filling (3). Major considerations when designing a manufacturing platform include the infrastructure, resources and manufacturing capacity available, the degree of scalability and productivity desired, the time available for producing the first dose and the dosing regime. Figures 2 and 3 illustrate some platform processes for vaccine manufacturing in eggs and in animal cell culture. A complete platform for downstream processing as noted in one study includes three steps: depth filtration, ultra/diafiltration (UF/DF), and membrane adsorption for purification of recombinant baculoviruses. Global recovery yields reached 40% at purities over 98% (12).


Another important parameter to consider when manufacturing a vaccine is its thermostability. All vaccines lose potency over time, and the rate of potency loss is temperature dependent. Hence, there is a need to develop, monitor, and maintain cold-chain systems to ensure that the potency of vaccines is maintained under refrigerated conditions (mostly between 2–8 C) until the point of use. The World Health Organizaion (WHO) recommends that reconstituted vaccines be kept cold and that any unused vaccine from a multidose vial be discarded after 6 h (14). This is primarily due to the instability of reconstituted vaccines and also due to the chances of bacterial contamination because live vaccines do not contain preservatives (15). New approaches to develop thermostable vaccine formulations that are resistant to damage caused by freezing or overheating are necessary to eliminate dependence on a cold chain. Such approaches could have great economic benefits in terms of reducing vaccine wastage and preventing adverse health consequences of administering damaged vaccines to recipients. Furthermore, such approaches would improve the effectiveness of vaccines and enable delivery of the vaccine to remote populations (15).

In addition to ensuring vaccine stability, optimizing the vaccine supply chain through quality management in vaccine manufacturing plays a key role in safe and effective vaccine manufacturing. In this context, performing a risk analysis for the manufacturing-process parameters that affect product quality, as well as an assessment of each validation step, including cleaning protocols, monitoring of the air filters, and assurance of sterility of the source materials, are also crucial to a quality management process (16).

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