Luina Bio is a Brisbane, Australia-based, drug development and contract manufacturing organization (CMO) serving the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and veterinary industries. Drawing on more than 15 years of contract manufacturing experience, Luina Bio scientists have the expertise, training and experience to ensure a successful outcome for your human or veterinary vaccines project using a variety of approaches (see Table 1). In this article we will share the types of vaccine contract manufacturing our clients are working on.
Types of Vaccines
|Types of Vaccines|
Scientists take many approaches to designing vaccines against infectious agents. These choices are typically based on fundamental information about the microbe, such as how it infects cells and how the immune system responds to it. Practical consideration are also taken into account, such as regions of the world where the vaccine would be used.
The following are some of the options that are available for designing vaccines:
Live, Attenuated Vaccines
Live, attenuated vaccines contain a version of the living microbe that has been weakened in the lab so it can’t cause disease. Because a live, attenuated vaccine is the closest thing to a natural infection, these vaccines are good “teachers” of the immune system. They elicit strong cellular and antibody responses and often confer lifelong immunity with only one or two doses. A practical consideration is that live, attenuated vaccines usually need to be refrigerated to stay potent. Therefore a live vaccine may not be the best choice if the vaccine needs to be shipped overseas and stored by healthcare workers in developing countries that lack widespread refrigeration.
Scientists produce inactivated vaccines by killing the disease-causing microbe with chemicals, heat, or radiation. Such vaccines are more stable and safer than live vaccines. However, most inactivated vaccines stimulate a weaker immune system response than do live vaccines. So it would likely take several additional doses, or booster shots, to maintain a person’s immunity. This could be a drawback in areas where people don’t have regular access to health care and can’t get booster shots on time.
Instead of the entire microbe, subunit vaccines include only the antigens that best stimulate the immune system. A LuinaBio scientist would need to know from the client which antigens best stimulate the immune system or determine this independently. Once scientists do that, however, they can:
- grow the microbe in the laboratory and then use chemicals to break it apart and gather the important antigens; or
- manufacture the antigen molecules from the microbe using recombinant DNA technology. Vaccines produced this way are called “recombinant subunit vaccines”.
For bacteria that secrete toxins, the development of a toxoid vaccine might be possible. These vaccines are used when a bacterial toxin is the main cause of illness. Scientists have found that they can inactivate toxins by treating them with formalin. Such detoxified toxins, called “toxoids,” are safe for use in vaccines.
The coating around many bacterium posses polysaccharide (a complex carbohydrate) that disguise a bacterium’s antigens so that the immature immune systems of infants and younger children can’t recognize or respond to the infectious agent. Conjugate vaccines, a special type of subunit vaccine, link and position sugar molecules on highly immunogenic antigens or toxoids from the microbe so that the infant’s immune system can recognize the polysaccharides. The linkage helps the immature immune system react to polysaccharide coatings and defend against the disease-causing bacterium.
Researchers have found that when the genes for a microbe’s antigens are introduced into the body, some cells will take up that DNA. That DNA then instructs those cell of the host to make the antigen molecules. The cells secrete the antigens and display them on their surfaces. The body’s own cells in essence become vaccine-making factories, creating the antigens necessary to stimulate the immune system.
Recombinant Vector Vaccines
Recombinant vector vaccines are similar to DNA vaccines. However, instead of naked DNA, the DNA of the infectious agent is incorporated into a “vector” or larger loop of harmless or attenuated DNA – the latter isolated from a different microbe. The carrier DNA then ferries the antigenic DNA from the infectious agent into the cells of the body. The cells of the body then use the incorporated DNA to make and present antigens from the infectious agent.
Luina Bio utilising our TGA/APVMA licensed facilities operating to international cGMP standards, can provide comprehensive manufacturing solutions for many of the types of vaccines listed above. In the past, we have manufactured recombinant proteins, whole cell vaccines, and viral vaccines for human and veterinary product for clients both within Australia and internationally in the United States, New Zealand and Asia using the following capabilities and services:.
- Dedicated containment area
- Flask or fermentation – recombinant vaccines
- Attenuation or killed preparations
- Antigen capture and stabilization
- Documentation and support services
LuinaBio also provides a dedicated project manager to coordinated your vaccine project and to ensure that we meet your needs.