Influenza is an acute viral infection that occurs worldwide, is easily spread and has a high cost to society. Infection has a more serious effect on the young, elderly, pregnant women and persons with chronic diseases or weakened immune systems. To protect those at risk, the solution is vaccination, however, producing enough doses of vaccine in a cost-effective manner can be challenging. Additionally, vaccine manufacturers face considerable burdens such as increasing demand and speed of supply, especially in the current record high infection seasons. Furthermore, pricing pressures and escalating costs, as well as pandemic outbreaks, place heavy strains on manufacturing systems. A more efficient production process will lead to rapid responsiveness, greater coverage and a lessening of the costs to society with reduced infection rates.
Influenza vaccines are grown in fertilised eggs and it can take two eggs to produce a single dose of vaccine. With 500 million doses of vaccine produced every year, this has dramatic cost implications across the whole vaccine production supply chain. The VaXIMISER technology presents a solution in the form of a premium high yield egg specifically tailored to vaccine production to maximise vaccine growth. VaXIMISER’s premium high yield vaccine egg will help to provide significantly more vaccine in less time and increase value for vaccine companies by improving production efficiency. This will enhance the capacity to respond to disease outbreaks and will help to protect the world from the next pandemic.
The technology is an innovative high yield egg custom-made for vaccine production to increase the production of influenza vaccine. Seasonal influenza vaccines are produced using ordinary fertilised chicken eggs and these eggs are laid by commercial hens that have been conventionally bred to supply eggs to the food chain and not specifically optimised for vaccine production. The technology involves the development of a specific line of chickens that produce eggs which grow high-yields of vaccine to improve the efficiency of production of vaccine. A more efficient manufacturing process will lower costs, increase volume and improve the ability to respond to influenza outbreaks.
Influenza vaccines rely on eggs for production but these eggs can limit the amount of vaccine produced. The technology produces premium high yield eggs tailored for vaccine manufacture by altering the genetics of chickens to develop eggs devoid of vaccine virus growth inhibitors. These eggs fit the existing vaccine manufacturing systems and do not require further infrastructure investment.
The technology not only improves the production efficiency of influenza vaccine, it affords benefits across the entire value chain such as minimising transport, handling, and waste. It also helps reduce significant costs associated with manufacture and supply.
The global vaccines market is expected to reach nearly USD$50 billion by 2021 up from USD$30 billion in 2016 at a compound annual growth rate of 8.33%. While the VaXIMISER technology is directed at this expanding human influenza vaccine market (USD$5 billion opportunity), it also supports other vaccines produced from eggs. Human and veterinary vaccines which rely on eggs for vaccine production, for example Yellow-fever vaccine and Newcastle disease virus vaccine, also present excellent opportunities.
It is a challenge for manufacturers to increase the productivity of vaccines and maintain the safety and efficacy. Furthermore, vaccine producers have to deal with narrow production windows, price ceilings, increased costs and difficulty growing viruses all in the face of increasing global demand. Influenza vaccine manufacturers depend heavily on fertilised eggs for the production of both seasonal and pandemic vaccines. Therefore, increasing the output of vaccine virus from VaXIMISER eggs addresses a critical issue in the supply of product.