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Vaccine. 2011 Jul 1;29 Suppl 1:A8-11. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2011.04.124.

An international technology platform for influenza vaccines.

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Knowledge Transfer and Partnerships (KTP) Vaccinology, National Institute of Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), P.O. Box 1, 3720 BA Bilthoven, The Netherlands.


Since 2008, the World Health Organization has provided seed grants to 11 manufacturers in low- and middle-income countries to establish or improve their pandemic influenza vaccine production capacity. To facilitate this ambitious project, an influenza vaccine technology platform (or "hub") was established at the Netherlands Vaccine Institute for training and technology transfer to developing countries. During its first two years of operation, a robust and transferable monovalent pilot process for egg-based inactivated whole virus influenza A vaccine production was established under international Good Manufacturing Practice standards, as well as in-process and release assays. A course curriculum was designed, including a two-volume practical handbook on production and quality control. Four generic hands-on training courses were successfully realized for over 40 employees from 15 developing country manufacturers. Planned extensions to the curriculum include cell-culture based technology for viral vaccine production, split virion influenza production, and generic adjuvant formulation. We conclude that technology transfer through the hub model works well, significantly builds vaccine manufacturing capacity in developing countries, and thereby increases global and equitable access to vaccines of high public health relevance.

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