Continuous cell lines (CCLs) have been used for the production of safe and effective biotherapeutics and vaccines since the 1970’s. As a result, state-of-the-art technologies to simplify vaccine development and manufacturing are becoming evermore crucial. One important difference between the production of vaccines and other biopharmaceuticals is the risk-safety consideration related to working with pathogens and pathogenic antigens.

Today, throughout the world there is a rapidly expanding demand for vaccine products. These growing requirements have necessitated the development of a range of techniques for growing large quantities of antigenic proteins. Traditionally, viruses have been grown in embryonated hen’s eggs, but numerous shortcomings compromise their utility. These include a bottleneck in the availability of high quality, pathogen-free eggs, as well as low titres of emerging viruses. Because of these and other factors, continuous cell lines are coming to dominate the field. The cell culture alternative also provides a flexible and scalable platform that can make use of existing biopharmaceutical infrastructure for vaccine production.

However, the cell-based manufacturing process has its disadvantages, which include:

  • The relatively higher manufacturing costs. This may translate to more expensive vaccines. These traditional cell culture processes produces fewer viruses for vaccine manufacturing.
  • The volumetric yield of the cell-based virus is many-a-fold lower than the egg-based process. This means, much larger volume bioreactor is needed and the capital investment is much higher for the production plant. This will further add to the cost of the vaccine.
  • This production method is relatively inefficient and not scalable especially when adherent cell culture processes are used for vaccine production.

The CellBRx bioreactor systems are designed for large scale and cost effective adherent cell culture based vaccine production. The DBR technology incorporated within CellBRx bioreactors offers obvious advantages for vaccine production when compared to traditional technologies like roller bottles, cell factories, packed bed and microcarrier based bioreactors.

Anchorage-dependent cell lines currently being tested with CellBRx bioreactors in pursuit of vaccine or virus production are:

  • CHO
  • VERO
  • MDCK (for a bird-flu vaccine)
  • MRC-5
  • PER.C6

To explore CellBRx bioreactors for vaccine manufacturing, click here.