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BIOTECHNOLOGY / PROJECTS
Cell factory press conference Graz, Austria 29th October 1999Project 6. New methods of vaccine production
Porcine parvovirus (PPV) causes major reproductive problems in pigs that can lead to major economic losses for the pig industry. The disease is usually controlled by vaccination. The use of empty viral particles that perfectly mimic the original viral structures is becoming a popular approach in vaccinology. These virus-like particles (VLPs) are produced in insect cell factories. They are known to induce a strong immune response and can be used safely as vaccines. So the production of these empty particles in insect cells has proven to be a good method for the preparation of vaccines. Unfortunately, large-scale development of these vaccines has been hampered by the large costs and efforts associated with optimising the technology and getting regulatory approval.
The aim of this demonstration project is to demonstrate the economic viability of industrial production of VLPs for use as vaccines, taking PPV to obtain proof of concept for the system. The ultimate goal is develop a production process that is recognised for EC registration and should make the commercialisation of these safe new vaccines possible.