Platform technologies for the production of vaccines

Michael Pfleiderer presented on the topic “Platform technologies applied for the production of vaccines against emerging viral pathogens – a scientifically justifiable and legally feasible regulatory approach?” on the 1st Cimi-Paris Symposium: Innovation in Vaccine Development in Paris. 

Recurrent and emerging infectious diseases caused by viral pathogens are a constant threat for human health. Even regional outbreaks caused by those viral agents are difficult to handle mainly because prevention by vaccination is not possible. Usually suitable vaccines have never been developed or are remaining in an early developmental stage. Further to that therapeutic options are often limited since specific antivirals do only exist for few viral species such as Influenza, Herpes and Hepatitis B and C viruses. Finally, passive immunization or therapy using specific immune globulins derived from animals or convalescent patients are also not readily available since specificity of antisera against an emerging viral pathogen is often hardly predictable. Thus, at best use of available immune globulins or production of new immune globulins can only be envisaged once a viral isolate causing an outbreak has been identified and characterized regarding its genotypic and serotypic properties. 

Recent past has presented a steadily growing number of examples of regional outbreaks of infectious diseases caused by a wide range of different positive and negative stranded RNA viruses such as West Nile Flavivirus, Chikungunya Virus, SARS Coronavirus, MERS Coronavirus and most recently Ebolavirus. Outbreaks caused by SARS Coronavirus in Asia, MERS Coronavirus in Saudi Arabia and by Ebolavirus in Western Africa were significant and are no longer self-controlling raising concerns that such outbreaks may go beyond the regional context turning into a public health emergency of international concern as per WHO definition. 

Accordingly, whenever outbreak scenarios shift from a regional to an international level public health officials will immediately call for available preventive and therapeutic options. Currently there is no licensed vaccine available protecting against any of these viral diseases nor are there any disease- specific, efficacious therapeutic medicinal products on the market. 

BE is developing strategies how to overcome this dilemma and is working together with interested parties in order to translate theoretic concepts into practice. 

If you are interested in making novel vaccines or emergency vaccines faster available, e.g. by developing platform technologies for the production of multiple vaccines based on the same technology talk to us.