Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Vaccines in Volume

PostedOctober 22, 2006

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Randy Atkins:  We’ll want lots of vaccine within weeks of identifying a bird flu virus that infects humans.
David Estell:  But the pharmaceutical industry’s not used to those time scales because the regulatory process is so long that it doesn’t make sense to be agile and fast and able to produce different products quickly.

Randy Atkins:  David Estell, technology V.P. at Genencor, says that’s why most vaccines are still made in chicken eggs.   But he says the biotechnology industry is rapidly producing loads of inexpensive products for human use with engineered microorganisms.

David Estell:  If a vaccine were needed at very large doses for a major portion of the world’s population, it would make sense to do it this way.

Randy Atkins:  A lot easier than scaling up egg production.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.