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Fungi, caterpillars, plants, bacteria: New frontiers in vaccine production

A popular topic at the World Vaccines Congress was cell-based alternatives to egg-based technologies, which was called the next frontier by Dr. Richard Schwartz of NIAID.

In recent years, a number of research projects have revolved around producing vaccines in animals and plants. Arizona State researchers produced a West Nile vaccine in plants that proved promising. And tobacco has emerged as one of the most intriguing vehicles for new vaccine production.

Debbie Higgins of California-based Neugenesis detailed the NeuBIOS platform for the production of protein biologics. It combines specially developed strains of the fungus Neurospora crassa with paired expression plasmids and serves as the starting point for specific product production. According to Higgins, the system offers many advantages over the egg-based alternative, including speed; development times for new products are as short as 12 weeks. In addition, is scalable and flexible and requires less capital than the egg-based method, she added.

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