Influenza vaccinations are critical to public health. The world influenza vaccine market is projected to be over US$7 billion and growing at an average rate of >20% per year. Last year, more than 500 million doses of vaccine were manufactured and used. All were derived from well-established egg-based production systems. Over the last several decades, numerous strategies have been employed in an attempt to increase the specific productivity of egg-based influenza vaccine manufacture. These include solvent extraction of influenza virus from infected allantoic fluid by multiple treatments, protein precipitation and ion exchange chromatography. However, in nearly all these methods allantoic fluid is pre-clarified before treatment and, as such, they ignore the potential for the presence of virus particles that may be physically associated with insoluble allantoic debris.
Microbix’ proprietary VIRUSMAX technology is a rapid, non-toxic technique for increasing the specific yield of multiple strains of influenza virus from the allantoic fluid of embryonated chicken eggs. Numerous studies have been performed in allantoic fluids from a wide variety of commercial and non-commercial sources. Liberation of intact insoluble debris phase-associated influenza virus, using strain-optimized extraction buffers, significantly augments viral yield. Such increases in viral yield can be can be used to increase the productivity of standard downstream influenza vaccine manufacturing processes.
Microbix VIRUSMAX technology has been shown to increase virus yields in numerous strains under numerous manufacturing scenarios (Hughes et al. Vaccine (2007) 25, 4456). The level of optimization varies by virus strain and type. Estimates of overall enhancement for a typical trivalent vaccine production are at least two-fold.
Microbix has been granted patents in the USA, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Europe, Italy, India, Japan, Australia and China.