The COVID-19 pandemic is an uncharted territory where almost all countries of the world have established the use of mouth-and-nose protection (i.e. face masks, face shield) to prevent virus transmission.Read More
Officially named by the World Health Organization as COVID-19, the recent coronavirus disease outbreak that started in Wuhan, China remains a global health concern. The causative pathogen, SARS-CoV-2, is recognized as a sister to severe acute respiraRead More
Viral vectors are derived from parental wild-type viruses, whose pathogenic genes are removed and replaced with gene of interest. These viruses deliver the gene of interest which alters gene expression in target cells. Their discovery led to clinical applications in treating chronic diseases such as neurodegenerative, ocular, and cancer.Read More
Cell attachment in 3-dimensional carriers is proven advantageous for adherent cell growth to mimic the in vivo environment. However, harvesting of adherent cells such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) and Vero cells, hinders a faster development for cell-based biopharmaceutical and biotechnology. It is considered as one of the most challenging and time-consuming part in the whole cell-culture process.Read More
Throughout the year, challenges affecting the animal health sector have been all over the news and have prompted actions worldwide. Among the list of animal health diseases this year, the African swine fever (ASF) caused recent economic losses from backyard/smallholder to large-scale commercial farms in Asia, Africa, and some parts of Europe. Socioeconomic losses even included culling of pigs in China, Vietnam, and the Philippines.Read More
SINGAPORE – A single use, closed, and automated bioreactor has recently been launched as the latest addition to the Tide Motion technology platform. CelCradle™ X (CCX) was recently completed and manufactured in an ISO 13485 Esco factory and complies with cGMP requirements and 21 CFR part 11. The system was developed to support small-scale process development that can also satisfy GMP standards for clinical applications.Read More
Global influenza epidemics emerge seasonally, and health authorities recommend that yearly vaccination is the most effective method for protection. Several vaccines such as inactivated, live-attenuated, quadrivalent, and pandemic influenza vaccines are available to target specific influenza strains. While this may be true, production of such vaccines has a limited timeframe depicting a crucial step for its release in the market. Vaccines can be produced faster through tecRead More
Biopeptides are organic, isolated small fragments formed by amino acids joined by amides or peptide bonds and derived mainly from food proteins like hydrolysates, shellfish, fungi, and fermented dairy products. They are considered the new generation of biologically active regulators, not only because of their high tissue affinity, specificity, stability and low toxicity, but also, their positive effects on the human body. They can function as intrinsic signalling moleculeRead More
Esco Aster successfully launched TideXcell™, an agile adherent scale-up bioreactor and the latest addition to the Tide Motion bioreactor platform at BioProcess International (BPI) in Boston. The team will now advance from Boston to Barcelona and continue its aim to provide enabling technologies for the advancement of the vaccine manufacturing industry. About 600 visitors are expected to attend the World Vaccine Congress exhibition in Barcelona, Spain from Oct. 28-31Read More
Cellular agriculture is now on the rise due to the impact of livestock and poultry industries on the environment, animal ethics, and even human health. The rising global population equates to higher demand for protein products - requiring technologies that are more sustainable, ethically sound, and environment-friendlyRead More
With the aim to comprehend complex cellular behaviours and mechanisms of various diseases such as cancer, in vitro researches paved new way for contemporary assays and techniques: breakthroughs in medical biotechnology including vaccine production, recombinant proteins, monoclonal antibodies, tissue engineering, gene therapy, and cells for transplantation have become more robust while the approach for cell culture researches became very upfront and audacious. Among theseRead More
Hayflick and Jacobs have established and developed human diploid cell strains (HDCSs) for Wistar Institute (WI)-38 and Medical Research Council (MRC)-5, respectively, over 50 years ago for vaccine production. Since then, these two cell strains have been accepted as standards for HDCSs and licensed worldwide for the production of vaccines including: inactivated and oral polio vaccine, rabies, rubella, measles, chicken pox, mumps, and hepatitis A. Applications for HDCSs extRead More
Vaccines have been one of the tools used to combat infectious diseases since the 18th century. Their ability to induce the production of protective antibodies against specific epitopes of disease-causing pathogen, has saved the lives of countless humans and animals for centuries.Read More
Bubble boy disease was termed when David Vetter was born with a disease that robbed him of an immune system rendering the boy to spend his entire life in a sterilized plastic bubble. Bubble boy disease, also called as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), is a rare inherited congenital disorder that is sometimes fatal; characterized by little or no immune response.Read More
Human and animal contact has never been more prevalent than today, especially with the continued human expansion, reliance on animal products for nourishment, as well as rising population.Read More
The single-use bioreactor (SUB) global market, especially in Asia Pacific, is very driven that it is expected to grow in demand in the coming years. It is with adoption of SUBs during research scale that enables biopharmaceutical organizations to have shorter development timelines, high production efficiency, and low cost of goods.Read More
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are derived from skin or blood cells that have been reprogrammed into an embryonic stem-cell like cells capable of differentiating into various human cells for therapeutic purposes.Read More
The last week of April is the week where World Health Organizer (WHO) will celebrate the World Immunization Week that serves as a great reminder that vaccines are powerful tools used to protect everyone from certain types of diseases.Read More
Illnesses such as measles, chickenpox, and mumps are diseases that should have never been underestimated or even complacent about. The year 2019 has been welcomed with panic as measles have alarming report of cases. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), to date, five measles outbreaks in the US have already been reported, most of the population diagnosed with the disease are of children 10 years old or younger.Read More
Oncolytic virotherapy is considered as one of the major breakthroughs in immunotherapy especially in terms of enhancing the immune response to tumor. Oncolytic virus, a genetically modified virus, infects and kills cancer cells but leaves the normal cells unharmed; after which, tumor antigens will be released by the dying cancer cells that allow the cancer to be recognized by the immune system.Read More
From antimicrobial resistance to Ebola, the World Health Organization (WHO) has ranked vaccine hesitancy as one of the top ten health threats in the world. Vaccine hesitancy is the refusal or the skepticism in the acceptance of vaccines; despite its availability and scientific evidence of showing efficacy in preventing diseases.Read More
January 7 - South Africa's Department of Agriculture quarantined an area in Vhembe, Limpopo, where an estimated of 15,000 cattle and sheep were affected with Foot-and-Mouth disease (FMD).Read More
One of the significant trends this 2019 is the expanding research in immunotherapy. As one of the hot topics, the development and manufacturing of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy pipelines will continue to progress towards commercialization.Read More
The global impact of rotavirus infection in infants and young children affects child morbidity and mortality worldwide at a high rate. Although first identified in animals in the 1960s, rotavirus (RV) was later discovered through the examination of a part of the small intestine (duodenum) of children who have severe diarrhea.Read More
Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM), is a rare disease affecting the nervous system and is caused by the Enterovirus 68. Since AFM affects the nerves, it can weaken not only the arms and the legs, but also respiratory muscles, which can lead to respiratory failure. Many symptoms of AFM develop after a viral infection such as poliovirus, West Nile virus, and adenovirus. Hence, some cases have a clear correlation why some infected people develop AFM.Read More
Japanese encephalitis virus or JEV is a debilitating mosquito-borne Flavivirus disease that belongs to the same genus as dengue, yellow fever, and West Nile viruses. The rise of global transportation, trade, and climate change allow insects to easily carry disease thus, infecting animals as well as humans. Most JEV infections are endemic in tropical and subtropical regions. It later causes death when left untreated.Read More
Exosomes provide promise in its potential for therapeutic application. The role of these extracellular vesicles (EVs) as a nano-vehicle for transporting molecular payloads, is designed to treat diseases. For example, catalase incorporated in exosomes, targets and delivers this cargo to the brain tissue, leading to a promising option for Parkinson's Disease (PD) therapy.Read More
Since March 2018, Thailand has been trying to contain rabies outbreak by conducting vaccinations for 10 million cats and dogs around the country. According to the Department if Livestock Development (DLD) there have been 400 confirmed rabies cases with a total of 37 Thailand provinces that were declared temporary rabies epidemic zones. Due to this, people brought in pets to be vaccinated; as such, vaccines are now running low.Read More
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) – T cell therapy is the first FDA approved immunotherapy to cure cancer. T cells are the backbone of this therapy because they are the killer cells of our immune system that fight foreign substances such as bacteria, viruses, or tumor cells.Read More
The emerging role of exosomes as a natural nano-vehicle offers important advantages for drug delivery compared to other nanoparticulate delivery systems. Looking at a bigger picture, exosomes are a part of the family of “bioactive vesicles” that are involved in several biological and pathological processes.Read More
The immune system has evolved its response to threats, protecting the host from pathogens. The ability of the immune system to differentiate itself from pathogens is through intercellular communication which is a key in this process. Cell to cell communication or signaling involves the transfer of chemokines, cytokines, and direct cell contact.Read More
Stem cells are the most promising and most exciting area in medicine. Stem cells are unspecialized cells capable of renewing themselves through cell division. It can be induced to embody cells with special functions. Due to their potential in regenerating and repairing damaged tissues, scientists are exploring and optimizing stem cells abilities to treat different types of diseases.Read More
Esophageal cancer is one of most frequently diagnosed cancer in Asia specifically in China and Japan. According to International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR), an estimated 17,497 new cases and 11,746 deaths in China; and 17,497 new cases and 11,746 deaths caused by esophageal cancer in Japan last year.Read More
Cervical cancer is the second most common causes of cancer death in the world especially in Southeast Asia. It is frequently diagnosed in women between the ages of 35 and 44. According to International Association of Cancer Registries, about 13, 240 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed and about 2, 170 women will die from cervical cancer this year.Read More
According to American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), more women are diagnosed with breast cancer than any other cancer. Breast cancer is a form of cancer that starts with an abnormal growth of cells in the breast tissue. These cells usually form a tumor, that can be malignant, growing into surrounding tissues invading other distant areas of the body.Read More
Adeno-associated virus (AAV) belongs to the family Parvoviridae and genus Dependovirus. Because of its non-pathogenicity, the medical field gave little to no interest at all. However, as gene therapy gains more attention, scientists are scrambling to find the best possible viral vectors for human gene therapy applications. AAV can target specific cells to correct disease-causing protein malfunction. Currently it is one of the commonly used viruses in geneRead More
Based on National Center for Health Statistics, 8.2% of death in the United States of America was caused by flu last December 30, 2017. The World Health Organization (WHO) is closely monitoring the evolution of influenza virus to produce the specific vaccine.Read More
Stem cell therapies have been widely known to treat numerous diseases such as cancer. However, stem cells have also been a huge head turner in the skin care world. Cosmeceutical science is advancing to discover and deliver skin treatments that can aid in skin regeneration, rejuvenation, and aging.Read More
Aseptic bioprocessing is a major challenge in vaccine manufacturing, whether for microbial, viral, recombinant protein, and polysaccharide vaccines. The operation, from cell culture to cell harvesting should be in a pristine environment.Read More
Therapeutic application of cells or cell-based therapy is a flourishing research field that offers a transformative approach to the healthcare industry. This type of research provides hope not only for treating incurable or rare diseases, but also the possibility to cure them. For the manufacture of cell-based therapies, cells are optimized to produce therapeutic agents. Generating an adequate number of cells with retained cell function and quality represents an essential factor for product effiRead More
Biomanufacturing companies have long sought better approaches with regards to bioprocessing. Due to rapidly fluctuating market demands for biologics, there is a growing interest in the benefits of continuous bioprocessing, mainly for cell culture. This process had increasingly driven biomanufacturing companies to develop innovative solutions for highly flexible and cost-effective production.Read More
From the world’s most certified Biological Safety Cabinet manufacturer, Esco is now the only manufacturer of biocontainment solutions with vertically integrated and regional factories to provide customized Class III Biological Safety Cabinets which exceed international standards from NSF 49 to EN 12469.Read More
Esco VacciXcell is proud to launch the new TideCell® with enhanced features and now controlled by Siemens HMI/PLC in USA soil.Read More
Poliomyelitis also known as Polio or infantile paralysis, is a highly contagious viral infection caused by poliovirus. It invades the nervous system and can cause irreversible paralysis, breathing problems and even death. It is caused by one of the three polioviruses from genus Enterovirus: Human poliovirus 1 (HPV1), Human poliovirus 2 (HPV2) and Human poliovirus 3 (HPV 3). Polio can strike at any age, but mainly affects children under 5 years old.Read More
Glucose is the main source of energy for cells specially in in-vitro cultures. Glucose gives cells the required energy in order to grow and proliferate. Sadly reserchers and scientists around the globe do not know the proper levels of glucose required by their culture. Learn why measuring glucose is important and what is the best way to do it.Read More
Rabies is a disease caused by a rabies virus of the genus Lyssavirus. It is most often transmitted from a bite of a rabid animal. The virus replicates in the animal carrying it and is retained in their salivary glands. Although dogs are commonly known to transmit rabies; skunks, bats, racoons, and foxes are among the animals that are reported to transmit vast majority of rabies cases. It is endemic on all continents except Antartica.Read More
Attenuated vaccines contain live viruses albeit "weakened". These viruses live such that they can induce an immune response but not strong enough to cause disease to the host. Inactivated vaccines contain inactive or "killed" viruses. The viruses were inactivated using either chemical or physical processes but retain their composition thus still allowing them to induce an immune response.Read More
Avian influenza, also known as avian flu or bird flu, is a type A influenza caused by viral infection in birds. Generally speaking, avian flu can only infect birds and poultry but there has been cases wherein humans were infected through direct or indirect contact with infected birds. Notable subtypes of avian flu are H5N1 and H7N9Read More
During in-vitro cell culture, it is important that the culture environment mimic the chosen cell line's original in-vivo environment for it to grow and propagate. Glucose, being the main source of energy for heterotrophic cells, is one of the parameters that should be carefully monitored during the culturing process.Read More
The American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians (AAVLD) and the United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) held their 59th and 120th annual meetings, respectively, at Sheraton Greensboro, North Carolina last October 13-19, 2016. The meeting was well attended by both members and non-members of both associations.Read More
Biopharmaceuticals are therapeutics derived from biological sources; they are a promising and growing trend in the treatment of diseases. In contrast to their synthetic counterparts, biopharmaceuticals are much more specific and targeted and therefore have fewer side effects. Furthermore, they do not merely treat the symptoms of diseases but can treat the diseases at their cause.Read More
Biopharmaceuticals are therapeutics derived from biological sources; they are a promising and growing trend in the treatment of diseases. In contrast to their synthetic counterparts, biopharmaceuticals are much more specific and targeted and therefore have fewer side effects.Read More
VacciXcell’s TideCell® System takes vaccine production to a higher level, with new enhanced features and more options for better flexibility. Users can choose between single-use and multiple-use and different capacities and options for the different components of the TideCell® system.Read More
When an animal epidemic breaks out, the economy suffers grave losses due to agricultural losses, as the infected animals can die or their meat, milk, and other products are no longer fit for human consumption. Moreover, sanitation and immunization in farms are not well established and thus, diseases can easily spread among the herd, leading to further losses.Read More
In September 2012, the first case of the deadly Mers-Cov virus was reported in the Middle East and has since then spread within the Arabian Peninsula. In 2015, the largest Mers-Cov outbreak outside the Arabian Peninsula occurred in South Korea. According to WHO, there is a total of 591 Mers-Cov related deaths since 2012 among the 1652 reported cases in 26 countries around the world.Read More
The COVID-19 pandemic has been dominating global headlines in recent times. It is indeed worrying for everyone, and it is uncertain how the situation will pan out in the coming months. Nonetheless, Esco would like to assure all our customers that weRead More
Esco Healthcare, a member of the Esco Group of companies, is comprised of 3 divisions namely, Esco Pharma, TaPestle Rx, and Esco VacciXcell. Altogether, these 3 divisions aim to make your 2018 a year of continuous learning for unsurmountable growth and development.Read More
Singapore, December 07, 2018 - Esco Aster, a leading independent contract development and manufacturing organization dedicated to the Singapore's R&D ecosystem, has signed a research collaboration agreement with A*STAR's Institute of Molecular Cell Biology (IMCB). The collaboration will facilitate the quick development and commercialisation of a multivalent vaccine targeting Hand Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD).Read More
A CDMO or Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization is a contractual company that provides services like drug development and drug manufacturing in the healthcare industry. CDMO services running on Esco's VacciXcell are now provided by a new independent company called Esco Aster Biopharma.Read More
Cell culture using mammalian cells has been used in bioprocessing and biopharmaceutical to produce a variety of life saving products. Mammalian cells are preferred by scientists and industries due to its relatively closer resemblance to human cells as compared to microbial, plants or insect cells. The challenge of using mammalian cells however has always been in the culture and proliferation of the cells.Read More
Esco VacciXcell successfully conducted a seminar last January 20, 2017 in HKPC Building, 78 Tat Chee Aveneu, Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong. Lead by Mr. Liang Ke, product specialist, and Ms. MK Kim, application specialist, the seminar entitled "Innovations and Advances for Bioprocessing" welcomed attendees to a day of learning on the new technologies and processes on bioprocessing, specifically in the field of cell therapy.Read More
In 2009, the H1N1 pandemic was bringing panic to the whole world due to its infection rate and lethality. In response to this threat, Medigen Biotechnology Corporation (MBC) decided to create a vaccine division which would integrate innovative technology that would be able to produce necessary vaccines in large volumes within a short period of time.Read More
Esco VacciXcell has conducted two seminars within the past few months that is aimed to educate and enlighten people from the scientific community of the revolutionary technology that is the TideMotion bioreactor system.Read More
Biopharmaceutical companies and industries around the world use cell culture as a means of producing their bio products. Whether the company is producing vaccines, monoclonal anti-bodies, proteins, biosimilars or stem cells, using some type of bioreactor is the widely accepted and most efficient method of doing it.Read More
Dr. Mudasser Habib, is a principal scientist whose research focuses on the development of vaccine for PPR virus for goat cells has participated in a product training for CelCradle™, TideCell™ and StirCradle™, bioreactors conducted by the VacciXcell Esco Healthcare last August 1-12, 2016 at the Esco Ventures, Singapore.Read More
One of VacciXcell’s main visions is a world of vaccine self-sufficiency for all nations, including developing ones and conducting free end-user seminars is one of VacciXcell’s ways to fulfil this vision. These end-user seminars help increase awareness of current news and situations in the vaccine industry and as well as the latest trends and techniques in vaccine bioprocessing;Read More
VacciXcell officially launched in Singapore on 3-4 June, 2015 at Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre during World Vaccine Congress Asia! We are excited to embark on this journey with you, offering turnkey solutions to clients of all applications and budgets.Read More
With a strong portfolio of more than 40 years, Esco continues to engage in a variety of operating businesses, investment holdings, and venture building. Now, fairgoers of BIO Asia-Taiwan on Jul. 25-28 can drop by Esco booth L818 for the provision of tailored content, possible networking, and a potential partnership.Read More
Esco Aster will be exhibiting once again at International Society for Cell and Gene Therapy (ISCT) 2019 at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Australia from May 29 to 31.Read More
PENNSYLVANIA - Esco Aster will set west to attend the world's most exciting vaccine event, the World Vaccine Congress (WVC) at Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel this Apr. 15-17.Read More
Esco VacciXcell had the opportunity to showcase its Patented Tide Motion technology at Analytica, the international trade fair for analytics, biotechnology and modern laboratory processes. The 26th Analytica was held in Munich, Germany from April 10 – 13, 2018.Read More
Esco VacciXcell looks back for the successful ISCT event held in Montreal, Canada last May 2-5, 2018. The response to this year’s event offered exciting possibilities for the evolution of cell therapy and how it seems to be pervasively expanding. From the promise of CAR-T therapies to Stem Cell Regenerative Medicine, there is a huge presence of how bioprocessing technologies become more accessible.Read More
Esco Aster, a leading CDMO company in ASEAN that utilizes Esco VacciXcell’s Tide Motion technology, jump started the year right. The recently held World Vaccine Congress at Renaissance Hotel, Washington D.C. last April 2-5, 2018 was a huge success, with lots of delegates worldwide brought together for a specific reason.Read More
Start off the year right! The 18th Annual World Vaccine Congress, which leads the largest event in gathering thousands of attendees, key speakers, and networking opportunities, will continue to progress this coming March 2 – 5, 2018 at Renaissance Washington DC Downtown Hotel.Read More
VacciXcell will unveil the new and improved TideCell®, a revolutionary bioprocessing adherent bioreactor, which utilizes the tide motion principle for the upcoming World Vaccine and Immunotherapy Congress. This event will give an in-depth look at the advancements in the integration of innovative technologies and its impact on immunotherapy and vaccine development.Read More
VacciXcell is strengthening its core in bioprocessing for being one of the exhibitors of the upcoming Research Support Center Scientific Roadshow on November 14, 2017, starting from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm at Epicenter Matrix Biopolis, Singapore.Read More
Esco VacciXcell recently participated in the World Vaccine Congress Exhibition held in Crown Plaza Hotel Barcelona, Spain from October 10-12, 2017. The congress brought together scientific scope, breadth, and partners from around the globe.Read More
Esco VacciXcell have recently participated in BioProcess International Conference and Exhibition 2017 last September 26-28 in Hynes Convention Center Boston, Massachusetts. The event brought science, technology, and partners to accelerate promising biologics towards commercial success.Read More
The International Society for Pharmaceutical Engineering or ISPE was successfully concluded last August 23-26, 2017 at Suntec & Exhibition Centre in Singapore. This year’s theme “Innovating for Next Generation Pharma Manufacturing” involved a lot of bioprocessing companies and delegates from different companies around the Globe.Read More
Esco VacciXcell attended the recently concluded human vaccine and veterinary industry summit held in Four Points Hotel, Qing Dao, West Coast China. The event lasted 2 days, starting from June 13 and ending on June 14, 2017. The event commemorated two both the 9th Human Vaccine Industry Summit and the 5th Veterinary Industry Summit.Read More
VacciXcell participated in the recently concluded ISCT 2017 held at ExCel London, United Kingdom last May 3-6, 2017. ISCT 2017 marks the 25th Anniversary of the International Society for Cellular Therapy. VacciXcell displayed their tide motion bioreactor systems which are perfect for cell proliferation such as those utilized in cellular therapy.Read More
World Vaccine Congress USA successfully concluded another series last April 10-12, 2017 held at Grand Hyatt Washington DC. This year, the Congress brought together over 700 senior vaccine executives for debates and discussions exploring new vaccine technologies.Read More
The International Society of Cell Therapy held its annual North America Regional Meeting at the Peabody in Memphis, Tennessee last September 30 to October 2. The event was well attended by experts in the field of Cell Therapy such as medical doctors, clinicians, scientists, regulatory experts, and laboratory professionals and industry personnel involved in cell processing facilities and programs in North America.Read More
Europe's most successful vaccine event is now entering its 17th year. For 16 years the World Vaccine Congress in Europe has been the leading event to talk about scientific advances and find new business opportunities within the vaccine sector and this year is no exception.Read More
VacciXcell was recently at The International Society of Cellular Therapy (ISCT) in Singapore. Held at the Suntec Convention and Exhibition Centre, the 22nd Annual Scientific Meeting was held in Asia for the first time.Read More
VacciXcell was present at the recently concluded World Vaccine Congress USA 2016 held at the Grand Hyatt Washington DC. The Congress, which ran for 3 days, consisted of 7 conferences namely World Vaccine Cancer & Immunotherapy, World Vaccine Influenza & Respiratory, World Vaccine Emerging & Re-Imerging, World Vaccine Clinical Trials, World Vaccine Bioprocessing & Manufacturing, World Vaccine Veterinary, and World Vaccine Partnerships.Read More
For the first time, our production scale packed bed 2 liter bioreactor, with pH and DO control, was displayed and launched in the American market, drawing huge attention and positive feedback from various delegates.Read More
VacciXcell, together with Esco, visited Dubai again for the second time this year to attend Arab Lab 2016, which was held last 20-23 March 2016 at the Dubai World Trade Center. VacciXcell reintroduced the CelCradle™ to the Middle East, this time brining the unit to the exhibition.Read More
VacciXcell, a subsidiary of Esco Group of companies, completes day 1 of the European Vaccine Congress. Of great interest is our latest CelCradle Single-Use Bioreactor that drew large responses from the international delegates.Read More
VacciXcell exhibited at the 9th Vaccine & ISV Congress held on 18-20th October at Lotte Hotel in Seoul, Korea. Products featured at the booth were the BelloCell® bioreactor system and the CelSafe® CO2 Incubator, which is an excellent combination for vaccine development.Read More
The COVID-19 pandemic is an uncharted territory where almost all countries of the world have established the use of mouth-and-nose protection (i.e. face masks, face shield) to prevent virus transmission. As part of the comprehensive package of heath measures, everyone is advised to wash their hands, to practice social distancing, and to sanitize. The spreading rate is so high that entertainment establishments, recreational areas, and even some nations are on lockdowns which triggered global economic downturns.
Vaccines are hailed to be an exit strategy for this surging pandemic. They do not just help keep a person healthy but also greatly affect the community conclusively. If a significant number of the population is vaccinated, the spread of disease can be stopped. A recently released vaccine landscape from WHO shows what vaccines are underway to completion.
Frontrunners for producing a candidate vaccine are in Phase 3, each having different strategies on how to activate an immune response.
COVID-19 candidate vaccines based on the tabulated data from WHO
With COVID-19 information early release to the public, scientists pushed forward to study the model of the virus. Each of the COVID-19 vaccine mentioned have identified and used the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein, which the virus uses to infect cells, to trigger the immune system. This in turn will generate protective antibodies and a dedicated immune response to the virus once introduced to the system. The protective antibodies will act through preventing the spike glycoprotein from attaching the virus to human cells, thereby neutralizing the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
Whether the world is ready to produce billions of vaccines to accommodate the population, let us look on how vaccines are produced (Fig.1)
A general overview of the vaccine production timeline.
Vaccines take time before they are released in the market. Some have high hopes that a usable vaccine will be released by the end of this year or next year. The coronavirus vaccine landscape has about at least 180 potential candidates in the pipeline (35 candidates for clinical evaluation; 145 candidates for preclinical evaluation).
The pre-clinical stage takes 1-2 years, from the start of discovery to exploration of the targeted antigen. It requires extensive effort to make sure each step is done safely and precisely. However, if a certain vaccine is approved, testing, mass-manufacturing, and distributing these vaccines fairly and affordably will be another challenge. This landscape is divided into three types of vaccines: RNA (Fig.2), attenuated (Fig.3), and inactivated (Fig. 4).
RNA vaccine workflow
RNA vaccines are faster and cheaper to make. One of its major advantages is that RNA can be produced from a DNA template in the laboratory using readily available materials. Its mechanism comprises of mRNA strand that codes for a disease-specific antigen. Once introduced into the body, the cells use the genetic information from the mRNA strand to produce the antigen; therefore, activating an immune response.
As RNA vaccines are not made with pathogenic particles or inactivated pathogen, they are deemed safe to use. In terms of production, they can be produced rapidly with faster scalability, improving emerging outbreak response.
Attenuated vaccine workflow
Live, attenuated vaccines are known to be the best teachers for the immune system. The reason behind is: attenuated form of the virus is nearly identical to a natural infection. Mostly with a single dose, the recipient produces immunity against the disease. While this is true, attenuated vaccines takes longer time to make due to the manufacturing capabilities, as well as parameter optimization to obtain maximum results. One must keep an eye on how these manufactured vaccines are stored to maintain its best condition, its limitation of use, and possible reversion to virulence.
Inactivated vaccines are vaccines where the produced bacterium or virus in culture media is “killed” or inactivated with heat or chemicals such as formalin. In other cases, the antigen is purified and treated to obtain components that are to be included in the vaccine (e.g. polysaccharide).
Inactivated vaccine workflow
In general, inactivated vaccines do not produce protective immunity on the first dose. It primes the immune system and will develop a protective response on the second or third dose. The response is mostly humoral as compared to attenuated vaccines: antibody titers against inactivated antigens diminish with time. In terms of production, this type of vaccine is costlier due to the duration of immunity; thus, requiring booster shots, requirement for adjuvant, and more.
Where we stand now in the course of the pandemic is changing. Although it takes 12-36 months to manufacture a vaccine alone, its promise to protect the people remains the same.
Want to know about the latest info on vaccines and COVID-19? Join us for an upcoming virtual conference and be one of the first receivers of this information.
September 28 to October 1, 2020 | 9:00 EST (GMT +4)
Esco Aster Virtual Booth