Cell-Based Flu Vaccines For 2019-2020

Cell-based H3N2 CVVs found more closely matched the circulating virus than the egg-based vaccines

cluster of cells blue vs black

Seqirus announced that it will manufacture its cell-based influenza vaccine (FLUCELVAX® QUADRIVALENT) for the 2019-2020 flu season using cell-based candidate vaccine virus (CVV) for all 4 influenza strains recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).   

This decision by Seqirus makes the entire vaccine production process exclusively cell-based. 

Seqirus incorporated a cell-based H3N2 CVV in FLUCELVAX® QUADRIVALENT for the 2017/18 flu season and cell-based CVVs for both B strains in the 2018/19 season. 

The inclusion of a cell-based CVV for the remaining A strain in the 2019-2020 flu season formulation will complete the transition to an exclusively cell-based product. 

CVVs are provided each season by the WHO Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) and associated laboratories. The manufacturing seeds produced from these CVVs are used to grow large quantities of virus, in either eggs or cells, enabling the mass production of influenza vaccine matched to the WHO-recommended strains. 

According to a recent study, which evaluated the degree of match of egg-based and cell-based CVVs to the circulating seasonal virus strain over the past 12 seasons, cell-based H3N2 CVVs have been more closely matched to the circulating virus than the egg-based H3N2 CVVs. 

Gordon Naylor, President of Seqirus, said in a press release, "While wecontinue to manufacture and distribute egg-based vaccines globally, cell-based influenza vaccines represent a significant advancement in influenza protection." 

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"Major advances in influenza prevention require significant global collaboration between industry and public health agencies. We thank the many partners involved in advancing promising technologies and remain committed to our shared goal of reducing the number of lives lost to influenza each season," said Naylor. 

Influenza is a common, highly contagious infectious disease that can cause severe illness and life-threatening complications in many people. To reduce the risk of more serious outcomes, such as hospitalization and death, resulting from influenza, the CDC encourages annual vaccination for all individuals aged 6 months and older. 

Since it takes about 2 weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protects against influenza virus infection, it is best that people get vaccinated to help protect them before influenza begins spreading in their community. 

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Seqirus is part of CSL Limited (ASX:CSL), headquartered in Melbourne, Australia.