Bend Research Inc., PATH, and Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology (FhCMB) announce the development of a new technology for the production of thermostable vaccines. Utilizing novel formulation and spray-drying processing methods, the technology has enabled scientists at Bend Research, PATH, and FhCMB to develop a spray-dried influenza vaccine product that is stable at 50°C for over 2 months. The technology can also be applied to emerging influenza and other vaccines.
Thermostable influenza vaccines hold promise for improving the pandemic preparedness of national immunization programs by extending product shelf life, decreasing the cost of vaccine stockpiling, and easing the deployment of vaccines against pandemic influenza strains in the United States or developing countries. Thermostable vaccines can also help to ensure vaccine potency in remote areas of the world with limited to no electricity for cold chain refrigeration.
"As an industry leader in spray-drying and the formulation of biotherapeutics, we are excited to work with PATH and FhCMB to address the unmet need for thermostable flu vaccines in developing countries," said Rod Ray, CEO of Bend Research Inc. "This work aligns with our mission to advance the best new medicines to patients."
Spray-drying processing methods are well-established for the development and manufacture of pharmaceuticals and dry food products but have rarely been applied to vaccines—until now. The next phase of technical work for the Bend Research Inc., PATH, and FhCMB partnership includes developing a commercially viable process for producing thermostable influenza vaccines using this breakthrough technology.