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Vaccine. 2014 Sep 22;32(42):5496-502. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2014.07.074. Epub 2014 Aug 12.

Technology transfer and scale-up of the Flublok recombinant hemagglutinin (HA) influenza vaccine manufacturing process.

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Protein Sciences Corporation, 1000 Research Parkway, Meriden, CT 06450, USA; Department of Biochemical Engineering, University College London, Torrington Place, London WC1E 7JE, UK. Electronic address:
Protein Sciences Corporation, 1000 Research Parkway, Meriden, CT 06450, USA.
ABEC Corporation, Bethlehem, PA, USA.


Multiple different hemagglutinin (HA) protein antigens have been reproducibly manufactured at the 650L scale by Protein Sciences Corporation (PSC) based on an insect cell culture with baculovirus infection. Significantly, these HA protein antigens were produced by the same Universal Manufacturing process as described in the biological license application (BLA) for the first recombinant influenza vaccine approved by the FDA (Flublok). The technology is uniquely designed so that a change in vaccine composition can be readily accommodated from one HA protein antigen to another one. Here we present a vaccine candidate to combat the recently emerged H7N9 virus as an example starting with the genetic sequence for the required HA, creation of the baculovirus and ending with purified protein antigen (or vaccine component) at the 10L scale accomplished within 38 days under GMP conditions. The same process performance is being achieved at the 2L, 10L, 100L, 650L and 2500L scale. An illustration is given of how the technology was transferred from the benchmark 650L scale facility to a retrofitted microbial facility at the 2500L scale within 100 days which includes the time for facility engineering changes. The successful development, technology transfer and scale-up of the Flublok process has major implications for being ready to make vaccine rapidly on a worldwide scale as a defense against pandemic influenza. The technology described does not have the same vulnerability to mutations in the egg adapted strain, and resulting loss in vaccine efficacy, faced by egg based manufacture.


Flublok(®); H7N9; Influenza vaccine; Insect cell; Pandemic; Recombinant HA; Scale-up

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