IDT Biologika is sharing the 2014 Hugo Junkers Innovation Award in the Applied Research category with its innovative production process for a recombinant live vaccine. Andreas Neubert, Director of the IDT Biologika Vaccines Business Unit, and his team of ten, have developed a process for producing live vaccines significantly faster and in large volumes.
This innovation was honored with the third-place Hugo Junkers Innovation Award in Magdeburg on December 15. A total of 122 applicants submitted their innovative projects and products. The Hugo Junkers Innovation Award is sponsored by the Saxony-Anhalt Ministry for Science and the Economy.
Due to its high level of purity, the vaccine produced using the new process minimizes undesirable side effects such as allergic or shock reactions. Vaccine has already been made available for clinical trials. Precise dosage, efficacy and possible side effects are currently being investigated in human clinical trials, with a view to the vaccine’s authorization.
The virus vaccine itself was produced in Canada with IDT participation using a biomolecular process. “Using genetic technology, today we can do away with tedious cultivation, and instead remove the harmful gene sequences from a virus vaccine and extract carrier particles containing the desired antigens,” explains Dr. Andreas Neubert, Director of IDT Biologika’s global vaccine business.
The weakened, genetically modified virus vaccine is then bred in cell cultures. This requires nourishment. Instead of feeding the cells with animal serums as in conventional processes, the scientists utilize chemically defined nutrient solutions. They use exclusively disposable materials, and achieve a yield of active agent without losses using a specially developed purification procedure with comparably little technical input. The share of unwanted corollary materials is reduced to well below the legally required minimum.
“Large volumes of emergency vaccine can be prepared in a short time using our process,” stresses Dr. Andreas Neubert. IDT plans to launch its own production using the new process itself, as well as manufacture live vaccines upon customer order.