Vaccine manufacturing 2

Published on May 31, 2015 Reviewed on June 12, 2023   39 min

Other Talks in the Series: Vaccines

Please wait while the transcript is being prepared...
Is another kind of topic that has caused vaccine manufacturers and other biopharmaceutical manufacturers a great deal of difficult. Over, say, the last 30 or 40 years, especially in vaccine business since it first got born as a major worldwide activity, a lot of things have changed. We have enormously better scientific understanding. We know about the pathogen. We know about protective epitopes. We know exquisitely about molecular biology and immunology. We know huge amounts about bio-chemical engineering. And if we put all this knowledge together, we can apply it to make new vaccines, and we can do it fearlessly, and with success because we know what we're doing. On the other hand, there's a strong tendency in the industry to retain traditional methods of manufacturing thinking that like making wine some characteristic of the vaccine is imparted by the tradition and is beyond the scope of modern science.
And so even fairly recently developed vaccines, as you can see in the next slide use eggs for instance. And fertilized egg is a nice source of dividing chicken cells. They are susceptible to growing viruses, and the egg looks like a very nice container that probably is kind of sterile on the inside. The reality is it isn't quite sterile on the inside. You can't define where it came from. You can't really sterilize it on the outside. So it's always got some amount of microbial contamination. And you have no idea what's going on inside, so you can't control it. So to make a brand new manufacturing process that's based on fertilized eggs is in the same category as making a brand new electronic device that's based on using vacuum tubes. And vacuum tubes have some utility in the universe today, but if you're making a piece of electronic equipment, practically no one would go and use an electron vacuum tube such as the one on the right in this slide. So you have to think about this carefully. We want to use today's best available technology to make today's best vaccines. And the way you do that is in the next slide.