Updated on 17 July 2012
Single-use technologies have gained universal acceptance reflecting a paradigm shift in vaccine manufacturing
Single-use technologies are a particularly smart way of manufacturing vaccines during a pandemic, when there is urgency to manufacture more in a short time. The combination of portable facilities and disposable technologies that can be deployed rapidly enable developing countries to maximize vaccine manufacturing capacity and eliminate dependence on foreign exporters during times of need.
Global manufacturing equipment providers are boosting their single-use technology portfolio to enhance reach in developing countries. Equipment providers believe that single-use devices are ideal for vaccine manufacturing as they require no cleaning validation, reducing contamination risk. It further allows flexibility of manufacturing vaccines in small or large amounts. Furthermore, single-use technology maximizes facility use by allowing multiple products to be made in a single suite without downtime between products.
Vaccine manufacturing company Novavax is using single-use bioreactor systems that cut down the need for large central facilities to drive low cost goods. According to Novavax, smaller facilities can be built and operated economically and can be distributed in different regions to ensure local supply of influenza vaccine.
Over the years, single-use technologies have gained universal acceptance reflecting a paradigm shift in vaccine manufacturing. There is wider adoption of single-use technologies and international manufacturing giants are fast rolling out their products to woo customers.
"Single-use technology increases filling capacity. It takes less than six months to commission the equipment and allows zero contamination. Also, set up time is reduced from 12 hours to one hour and filling time is reduced from 36 hours to 12 hours, enabling a significant drop in the usage of energy. Improvement in equipment utilization is 82 percent against 35 percent, and provides a strong throughput benefit in multi-product facilities. With single-use equipment, a facility can be configured for a new manufacturing process quickly, within two to three months," says Mr George Adams, vaccine program manager, Merck Millipore.