Vaccine Factories on the Horizon

The currently approved method of making pandemic and seasonal flu vaccines in the US dates back to the 1940s and involves processing millions of chicken eggs by hand. Cell-based technology cuts production times in half, and that’s how major drug companies plan to tackle future viruses on a grand scale.

In an article on the Chicago Tribune website, Bruce Japsen says Deerfield-based Baxter International Inc. wants to build a cell-based vaccine manufacturing plant in the U.S. When the plant is built will depend on the success of a government-funded seasonal and pandemic flu vaccine development program.

Japsen says flu vaccines are becoming more of a lucrative prospect for drugmakers thanks to government subsidies. Another major player is Swiss drug company Novartis AG, which has begun design and construction on a cell-based manufacturing plant in North Carolina “backed by more than $400 million in federal funds.”

To read the Chicago Tribune article, please click here:,0,302622.story