Seqirus makes plans to transition to cell-based flu vaccine

Photo of Russell Basser
Russell Basser

Seqirus announced plans manufacture its influenza vaccine for the 2019-2020 season using an exclusively cell-based production process for the first time.

Russell Basser, senior vice president of research and development at Seqirus, told Infectious Diseases in Children that several studies have demonstrated the potential benefits of cell-based influenza vaccines compared with egg-based vaccines.

All four virus strains recommended by WHO to be included in the vaccine for the upcoming season will be exclusively cell based, the company noted.

WHO recommended the use of cell-based candidate vaccine viruses beginning in 2016, and the FDA approved Seqirus’ use of the cell-based influenza vaccine. Adjusted data previously reported by the company demonstrated 36% greater efficacy compared with the standard egg-based quadrivalent vaccine in preventing symptoms in patients aged 4 years and older.

Egg-based influenza vaccines have not been effective against some strains of the virus, including H3N2, in previous seasons. Researchers have investigated the use of adjuvants to increase immune responses in both children and adults. Seqirus mentioned back in October that it plans to incorporate both technologies — adjuvants and cell-based production — to further improve its vaccines.

“Cell-based vaccines may result in better influenza-related outcomes compared with standard influenza vaccine options, particularly in H3N2-dominated seasons,” Basser said. “Vaccination against influenza remains the best defense available, regardless of the manufacturing process used to produce the vaccine.”– by Katherine Bortz

References:

Boikos C, et al. Effectiveness of the cell culture- and egg-derived, seasonal influenza vaccine during the 2017-2018 Northern Hemisphere influenza season. Presented at: National Foundation for Infectious Diseases 2018 Clinical Vaccinology Course; Nov. 9-10, 2018; Bethesda, Maryland.

Daly W, et al. Abstract 987. Presented at: IDWeek; Oct. 3-7, 2018; San Francisco.

Disclosure: Basser is an employee of Seqirus.

Photo of Russell Basser
Russell Basser

Seqirus announced plans manufacture its influenza vaccine for the 2019-2020 season using an exclusively cell-based production process for the first time.

Russell Basser, senior vice president of research and development at Seqirus, told Infectious Diseases in Children that several studies have demonstrated the potential benefits of cell-based influenza vaccines compared with egg-based vaccines.

All four virus strains recommended by WHO to be included in the vaccine for the upcoming season will be exclusively cell based, the company noted.

WHO recommended the use of cell-based candidate vaccine viruses beginning in 2016, and the FDA approved Seqirus’ use of the cell-based influenza vaccine. Adjusted data previously reported by the company demonstrated 36% greater efficacy compared with the standard egg-based quadrivalent vaccine in preventing symptoms in patients aged 4 years and older.

Egg-based influenza vaccines have not been effective against some strains of the virus, including H3N2, in previous seasons. Researchers have investigated the use of adjuvants to increase immune responses in both children and adults. Seqirus mentioned back in October that it plans to incorporate both technologies — adjuvants and cell-based production — to further improve its vaccines.

“Cell-based vaccines may result in better influenza-related outcomes compared with standard influenza vaccine options, particularly in H3N2-dominated seasons,” Basser said. “Vaccination against influenza remains the best defense available, regardless of the manufacturing process used to produce the vaccine.”– by Katherine Bortz

References:

Boikos C, et al. Effectiveness of the cell culture- and egg-derived, seasonal influenza vaccine during the 2017-2018 Northern Hemisphere influenza season. Presented at: National Foundation for Infectious Diseases 2018 Clinical Vaccinology Course; Nov. 9-10, 2018; Bethesda, Maryland.

Daly W, et al. Abstract 987. Presented at: IDWeek; Oct. 3-7, 2018; San Francisco.

Disclosure: Basser is an employee of Seqirus.