Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Faster Flu Vaccine

PostedMay 3, 2009

Download File (mp3)

Randy Atkins: A Rockville, Maryland company says they’ve engineered a faster way to make vaccines.

Rahul Singhvi: Our cycle time from strain identification to rolling out the first batch of vaccine is between 10 and 12 weeks.

Randy Atkins: Rahul Singhvi, president and C-E-O of Novavax, says they’re already using the C-D-C’s genetic profile of the current H1N1 swine flu strain to begin making three key virus proteins which self-assemble, within insect cell cultures, into a harmless virus-like particle decoy.

Rahul Singhvi: It can create the shell and the outside surface proteins, but there’s nothing inside.

Randy Atkins: Singhvi says tests with other viruses show those surface proteins safely produce immunity, and while the technique is not yet approved, says they stand ready.

Rahul Singhvi: If the government feels that they can use it and we can become part of their overall solution we’d be more than happy to serve them.

Randy Atkins: With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, 103 point 5 F-M, WTOP Radio.