ARTICLE | Product Development

Protein Sciences: No Yolk

May 3, 2004 7:00 AM UTC

Protein Sciences Corp. believes its FluBlOk influenza vaccine, which is manufactured using the company's baculovirus protein expression system in an insect cell line, will be safer and less resource-intensive than the egg-based manufacturing process for marketed flu vaccines. Although Aventis S.A. returned rights to the vaccine in 2001, Protein Sciences now has positive Phase IIb data in hand showing that its recombinant flu vaccine is more immunogenic than an undisclosed, marketed egg-based flu vaccine.

"From a regulatory standpoint, the egg-based production method is outdated and always has a potential risk," said COO Manon Cox. Most marketed flu vaccines use hemagglutinin, the viral antigen of influenza, derived from chicken embryos. While the process has a long history of safe use, it requires large amounts of eggs to produce enough product for the world's flu vaccine needs. In addition, because it is animal-derived, there always is a chance of contamination, Cox said...