Blueprint for making new vaccine within 100 days ‘could save many lives’

·2-min read
 (PA)
(PA)

A blueprint for making millions of doses of a new vaccine within 100 days has been published.

Researchers say it could enable clinical trials within 60 days of identification of a new virus, a process which may save “a lot of lives”.

The work could also allow Oxford’s ChAdOx vaccines — including the AstraZeneca jab — to hit the “moonshot” objective set by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

It aims reduce the timeline of vaccine development to just 100 days from a virus bein discovered to mass production.

The paper, which has not been peer-reviewed, sets out how quickly it would be possible to manufacture a new adenovirus-vectored vaccine at large scale.

Dr Sandy Douglas, who leads the vaccine manufacturing research group in the Jenner Institute at the University of Oxford, said: “When a new virus is identified, vaccine production is a race against time.

“Some people think that adenovirus-vectored vaccines are slow to manufacture and that’s just not true.”

He said the process of manufacturing, filling the vaccine into vials and testing takes the same amount of time for most vaccines.

But he added: “The thing that can vary is how long it takes to prepare to start manufacturing.

“For an adenovirus-vectored vaccine, the key bit of preparation which is needed is to make a ‘seed’ virus.

“That’s the only thing that needs to change to make a new vaccine. So we’ve looked carefully at how to make that seed quickly. In a pandemic, saving a few days could save many lives.”

One billion vaccine doses could be supplied within 130 days of identification of a new virus if factories are on standby to use new methods outlined in the study, the blueprint claims.

The new process uses a method called perfusion, which allows the removal of waste products that can slow down vaccine production and allows constant replenishment of the culture with fresh nutrients.

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