Accelerating the Development of Novel Vaccines
Vaccines are one of the most effective ways to reduce illness and death caused by infectious diseases. We often associate vaccines with childhood, but new vaccination strategies have the potential to protect adults from cancer and chronic diseases. This is thanks to emerging technology that helps turn recombinant viruses (formed by recombining genetic material) into antigens and immunotherapeutics. An antigen is any substance that causes the immune system to produce antibodies; immunotherapy treats disease by inducing an immune response. Research in these areas is expanding rapidly.
For these emerging technologies to have an impact, we need to be able to make them. For that, we need access to production and purification processes that meet the highest standards for manufacturing biologics, using cutting-edge biotechnologies on a scale large enough for clinical evaluation.
Dr. Amine Kamen, Canada Research Chair in Bioprocessing of Viral Vaccines, is examining how the viral vaccine production process can be accelerated by understanding how cells and viruses interact, as well as the cellular metabolic state needed for maximum productivity. This understanding will help develop the processes and technologies needed to make safe, potent, cost-effective vaccines.
Kamen and his research team are building capacity in viral-based treatments and preventions, and supporting the translation of discoveries in vaccines and gene therapy. Their work could lead to developing and commercializing vaccines and immunotherapies that will significantly improve Canadians’ health.