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Vaccine. 1999 Mar 26;17(13-14):1596-604.

New technologies for making vaccines.

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BioChem Pharma, Inc., Northborough, MA, USA.


Technologies for making active vaccines fall into 3 general groups: live, subunit (killed or inactivated) and genetic. Each of these groups is further divisible into multiple categories, which include recombinant-derived antigens as well as native microorganisms and their components. In addition, there are new enabling technologies such as delivery systems and vectors which can be applied to these approaches. Most disease targets, whether infectious or noninfectious in origin, can be approached by the application of several different vaccine technologies, as can be tested during the discovery phase of research. The criteria for choosing early in a development program which of the vaccine technologies are likely to ultimately be most fruitful for a given application include: knowledge of the pathogenesis of the given infection/disease; technical feasibility; immunobiology and associated mechanisms; preclinical efficacy profile; anticipated clinical safety; regulatory; manufacturing; and marketing. All of these criteria should be considered together in making selections for an R&D program. This paper is reviewing the major vaccine technologies and relevant examples of how these criteria are used to make decisions in vaccine development.

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