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Millipore and Microbix Form Strategic Partnership to Develop Novel Purification Process in Vaccine Manufacturing

Thu, 04/23/2009 - 7:16am
Millipore Corporation and Microbix Biosystems Inc ., have formed a scientific collaboration to develop a novel purification process for influenza virus vaccine manufacturing. As part of the collaboration, Millipore plans to develop a new technology for single step purification of influenza virus to replace ultracentrifugation. Influenza vaccine is currently produced in eggs and is purified using ultracentrifugation. Ultracentrifugation is an expensive and complex process that can create bottlenecks in process development during manufacturing scale-up. The single step purification process, based on novel chromatographic technology being developed by Millipore, has the potential to reduce the complexity and capital cost associated with current manufacturing processes. Microbix will supply egg-based influenza virus for use in product development studies. Microbix will also provide Millipore with access to its VirusmaxTM technology, a patented process that has been shown to significantly increase the recovery and purity of influenza virus produced in eggs. “Millipore remains focused on pioneering innovation for the biopharmaceutical industry. Developing new vaccine purification technologies that improve both the efficiency and economics of manufacturing is of paramount importance to us,” said Jean-Paul Mangeolle, President, Bioprocess Division, Millipore Corporation. “Microbix is very pleased to participate with Millipore in this scientific collaboration,” said William J. Gastle, Chief Executive Officer, Microbix. “Use of our unique Virusmax technology will ensure that maximal yields are realized in process development studies and provide greater flexibility in the choice of virus strains for influenza vaccine applications.” The market for influenza vaccines is estimated to be more than $2 Billion dollars today and threat of an expected pandemic is expected to double this market by 2016. This research will be conducted in Millipore's Vaccine Process Research Laboratory in Bedford, MA. The lab focuses on new technologies for conventional vaccine manufacturing as well as new single-use processes.
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