Seqirus develops cell-based influenza vaccine at Holly Springs facility in US


Seqirus, part of Australian biotechnology firm CSL, has successfully produced an industry-first, cell-based influenza vaccine at its advanced manufacturing facility in Holly Springs, North Carolina, US.

The company has successfully manufactured the cell-based influenza vaccine at commercial scale using a candidate vaccine virus (CVV) that has been isolated and grown in cells, rather than in eggs.

Seasonal influenza is a common, contagious infectious disease that can result in severe illness and life-threatening complications among several people.

CVVs are used by manufacturers to develop and produce influenza vaccines and prepared by the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) and associated laboratories.

Unlike egg-derived CVVs, the cell-derived CVVs have the potential to drive improved process control and enhanced output in the production of cell-based influenza vaccines.

Influenza viruses isolated and grown exclusively in cells can also be more similar to influenza viruses in circulation.

Since 2014, Seqirus’ Holly Springs manufacturing facility has used only egg-derived CVVs in its cell-based production process.

However, last year, the WHO began to recommend cell-derived CVVs, while the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an approval for the company to use them in the development of cell-based influenza vaccines at the Holly Springs site.

This year, Seqirus has successfully used a cell-derived H3N2 CVV in the development of its cell-based seasonal influenza vaccine, thereby making the end-to-end production of the particular strain exclusively cell-based.

"Cell-based influenza vaccines represent one of the most significant advancements in the history of influenza vaccine production."

Seqirus president Gordon Naylor said: “Cell-based influenza vaccines represent one of the most significant advancements in the history of influenza vaccine production.

“Seqirus is proud to continue to innovate this promising technology as part of our leading role in influenza prevention and pandemic preparedness.”

The company intends to use the cell-derived CVV technology for manufacturing other vaccine strains produced at the Holly Springs facility in the future.

The Holly Springs production facility was constructed in collaboration with the US Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to help address pandemic threats.


Image: Cell-based influenza vaccine produced at Holly Springs manufacturing site. Photo: courtesy of Seqirus.