Human vaccines & immunotherapeutics

Technology transfer of oil-in-water emulsion adjuvant manufacturing for pandemic influenza vaccine production in Romania: Preclinical evaluation of split virion inactivated H5N1 vaccine with adjuvant.

PMID 26618392


Millions of seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccine doses containing oil-in-water emulsion adjuvant have been administered in order to enhance and broaden immune responses and to facilitate antigen sparing. Despite the enactment of a Global Action Plan for Influenza Vaccines and a multi-fold increase in production capabilities over the past 10 years, worldwide capacity for pandemic influenza vaccine production is still limited. In developing countries, where routine influenza vaccination is not fully established, additional measures are needed to ensure adequate supply of pandemic influenza vaccines without dependence on the shipment of aid from other, potentially impacted first-world countries. Adaptation of influenza vaccine and adjuvant technologies by developing country influenza vaccine manufacturers may enable antigen sparing and corresponding increases in global influenza vaccine coverage capacity. Following on previously described work involving the technology transfer of oil-in-water emulsion adjuvant manufacturing to a Romanian vaccine manufacturing institute, we herein describe the preclinical evaluation of inactivated split virion H5N1 influenza vaccine with emulsion adjuvant, including immunogenicity, protection from virus challenge, antigen sparing capacity, and safety. In parallel with the evaluation of the bioactivity of the tech-transferred adjuvant, we also describe the impact of concurrent antigen manufacturing optimization activities. Depending on the vaccine antigen source and manufacturing process, inclusion of adjuvant was shown to enhance and broaden functional antibody titers in mouse and rabbit models, promote protection from homologous virus challenge in ferrets, and facilitate antigen sparing. Besides scientific findings, the operational lessons learned are delineated in order to facilitate adaptation of adjuvant technologies by other developing country institutes to enhance global pandemic influenza preparedness.