Analysts say cell-based and recombinant flu vaccines are the future

shutterstock_29280544Citing poor seasonal influenza efficacy, industry analyst GlobalData says that manufacturers should move away from egg-based manufacturing and adopt modern cell-based and recombinant approaches instead.

Last week the US Food and Drug Administration said it was working to figure out why reduced effectiveness against the H3N2 strain of influenza A was observed in what was the country’s worst flu epidemic in a decade. Estimates suggest effectiveness levels were at around 25%.

The analysts say that vaccine manufacturers should embrace the modernization of commercial mass production of seasonal influenza vaccines, which are “capable of producing vaccines that are better designed for combatting circulating strains of the influenza virus.”

The report cites “inherent limitations associated with the egg-based vaccine manufacturing” which tend to reduce the potential antibody-antigen binding affinity required to achieve consistently high vaccine efficacy from season to season.

Cell-based and recombinant vaccine production techniques allow for sequenced circulating influenza viruses to be directly incorporated, and they can be completed more quickly than the egg-based approach, allowing for real-time strain surveillance.

To facilitate this, government agencies and the World Health Organization will need to change their approach.

Healthcare analyst Gilbert Saint Jean said: “Overall vaccine efficacy improves with the newer technologies if their quicker manufacturing times are combined with government-provided seed virus submissions from increased surveillance at the global level for mutations in the antigenic target of flu vaccines.”

Source: The Pharma Letter