Tuesday, January 29, 2013

FDA Approves Recombinant Flu Vaccine

News Brief by Kathryn Gibb

Flu season is now in full swing with a limited supply of vaccines and major cities like Boston declaring public health emergencies.  However next flu season, there will be a new vaccine on the market.  Flublok, a vaccine developed by the Protein Sciences Corporation, differentiates itself from previous vaccines in a few different ways. For one, it is the first flu vaccine that was developed from recombinant proteins to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Other available vaccines are comprised of an inactivated or weakened form of the virus.  The proteins within the Flublok vaccine come from insect cells, compared to the vaccines that are currently on the market that come from chicken eggs.  This will enable Flublok to be produced quickly.  While Flublok is the first vaccine composed of recombinant proteins to be approved by the FDA, it is not the first to be produced without the use of chicken eggs. A different egg-free vaccine, Flucelvax, was approved by the FDA in November.  

Reference:  Ledford, Heidi. "FDA Approves Recombinant Flu Vaccine ." Nature News Blog. Scientific American, 22 Jan 2013. Web. Web. 29 Jan. 2013. .

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