Vaccine Technology III Conference

The Vaccine Technology III Conference was held in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, from 6 - 11 June 2010. The focus of the conference was the latest developments in vaccine technology, with a particular focus on the special challenges for emerging markets and the developing world. The conference covered a wide range of vaccine topics such as: vaccine target identification and validation, vaccinology, bioprocess development in early stages and vaccines in late stage development, recently launched vaccines, veterinary vaccines and new technologies.

David Salisbury, Director of Immunization, UK Department of Health, discussed the best way to introduce, promote and distribute vaccines giving the example of HPV vaccine introduction in the UK.

Speakers from Brazil, Cuba, Mexico and India presented case studies demonstrating how they have dealt with production and distribution of vaccines in the past and how it should be dealt with in the future.

All sessions left the feeling that a long road still lay ahead in the combat against infectious disease, where vaccination played a key role. Although vaccines used in the past have lead to the eradication of smallpox, more recently, the H1N1 pandemic in 2009 has led to social disruption and strain in the health system. New diseases pose new and largely unknown challenges.

Lecturers covered such subjects and ideas as, how a new paradigm for vaccine engineering was urgently needed; the possibilities of using vero cells in the production of vaccines to combat rabies, rotavirus, denge and influenza; the issue of increasing the titers for influenza vaccine production after recent threat of H1N1 pandemic; where vaccines need to be supplied in large quantities and fast; and the production of malaria vaccine using recombinant protein based chemical conjugate to improve the efficacy of malaria vaccines.

The conclusion was that for some diseases where there is no commercial vaccine eg, HIV and malaria; the cost needs to be dropped in order for the developing world to afford new vaccines coming to market, with the example of HPV vaccine. For rapidly emerging pandemic diseases such as influenza, the vaccine must be manufactured at scale and faster then the infection can spread.

My own contribution to the conference was the presentation of a poster entitled 'Ultra-Scale Down Methodology for rapid prediction of the dewatering level of P.pastoris high cell density broths in a pilot-scale centrifuge'. As P.pastoris is becoming a cost-effective target for vaccine development, this work tackled issues involved with understanding the effect that P.pastoris high cell density fermentation feedstocks had upon the performance of centrifugation, in particular dewatering levels. It introduced a novel ultra-scale down technique designed to predict dewatering performance of large scale centrifuges, using millilitre quantities of material, which is very useful information in early stages of vaccine process development, where there are limited amounts of feedstock material.

A particular benefit of attending this conference was the high and balanced number of industrialists and academics whose work or research involves the development of new vaccines. This provided a good opportunity for me to present my work and discuss the realities of its application and future.

The Vaccine Technology III conference was an excellent conference covering a wide range of topics. I would like to thank the organisers of Vaccine Technology III conference for their work, and to SCl for itscontribution to my expenses.

Adriana Lopes

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