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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Expediting Next-Generation Vaccine Development Using Advanced Analytical Methods

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred wide interest in the development of new and novel vaccines and therapeutic drugs against viruses. In addition to the classical platforms (whole-inactivated virus; live-attenuated virus; protein subunit and virus-like particles), novel next-generation platforms (viral vector, DNA, RNA, and antigen-presenting cells) are some of the emerging areas. These next-generation vaccines are mainly focused on nucleic acids and can be developed based on sequence information alone. The advancement in high-throughput sequence technologies and bioinformatics offers invaluable knowledge on genomic characterisation. Bioinformatics insights like sequence similarity, phylogenomic, and computational structural biology have provided an in-depth understanding of the molecular and biochemical basis of infection, atomic-level recognition of the viral-host receptor interaction, functional annotation of important viral proteins, and evolutionary divergence across different strains. Due to the challenges in identifying the most effective vaccine candidates, technologies and methods that can accelerate and streamline further screening and characterisation will be critical in the speed to bring them to market.

Currently, various modern approaches are being used to target the most promiscuous antigenic epitopes from the virus proteome for accelerating vaccine development and production processes. Many of these are novel platforms with little pre-existing data on safety and efficacy in humans. Sartorius offers a diverse range of analytical technologies (including the Octet®, Incucyte®, the iQue®) that can facilitate the rapid and high-throughput characterisation of these molecules.

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The Sartorius Group is a leading international partner of biopharmaceutical research and the industry. With innovative laboratory instruments and consumables, the Group's Lab Products & Services Division concentrates on serving the needs of laboratories performing research and quality control at pharma and biopharma companies and those of academic research institutes. The Bioprocess Solutions Division, with its broad product portfolio focusing on single-use solutions, helps customers to manufacture biotech medications and vaccines safely and efficiently.
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