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New VIDO-Intervac Centre boosts swine vaccine production

The Director and CEO of VIDO-InterVac is confident the construction of a pilot scale vaccine manufacturing facility will allow it to dramatically speed up the testing of new vaccine candidates.

5 December 2019, at 10:48am

The Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization-International Vaccine Centre hopes to have a new facility for manufacturing the vaccines it develops constructed, approved and operating within the next two to three years.

Speaking to Farmscape, Dr Volker Gerdts, the Director and CEO of VIDO-InterVac says it's a real bottleneck in vaccine development right now, both in human as well as animal vaccines.

"In the lab we can design all these vaccine candidates and we can make them in the lab but then testing them in clinical studies, you need to have small batches that you can use to pursue the testing," says Dr Gerdts.

"This is what this facility is designed for.

"It will enable us to rapidly go from the lab phase to the clinical phase and therefore accelerate vaccine development and allow us to manufacture these candidate vaccines right here.

"The volumes that we have here is what is called small scale or pilot scale.

"These are the smaller amounts but you can produce for example here, in various runs of course, but you can produce easily hundreds of thousands if not millions of vaccine doses so we would be able to manufacture enough vaccine to take them out into outbreak situations or for clinical field trials or for conditional licenses, things like that. We would be able to do that."

Dr Gerdts says the hope is that this facility will contribute to accelerate translation from early discovery of research into commercial development and avoid those long delays between proof of concept in the lab and clinical testing in target species and make it faster.

He hopes that by 2022 the facility will be ready to produce the first batches of animal vaccines and start producing batches for human testing by 2023.

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