DoD funds Biovest, pushing vax-making tech

U.S. Department of Defense efforts are continuing to advance vaccine manufacturing. The department is currently funding Biovest International, to the tune of $1.5 million, to develop fast and cost-effective biomanufacturing solutions for vaccines to ward off and treat infectious diseases and cancers.

The work involves adapting Biovest's automated bioreactor system into a rapid viral vaccine production platform, according to an announcement. DoD and Biovest researchers are currently studying virus propagation on the AutoVAX ID bioreactor, which was developed as a commercial GMP-compliant platform for the manufacture of personalized cancer vaccines. The researchers are evaluating the platform for use in cell-culture based production of viral vaccines, including influenza.

As we reported Tuesday, another DoD-funded effort resulted in speedy 12-week production for a swine flu vaccine, from receipt of an unknown target amino acid sequence to scaled-up production. That effort included expression technology from Pfenex and the single-use FlexFactory production platform from Xcellerex.

- here's the Biovest release