Science & Enterprise subscription

Follow us on Twitter

  • A smartphone app designed to non-invasively estimate hemoglobin levels is being assessed for its ability to measure… https://t.co/TU6dwtG6SZ
    about 18 mins ago
  • New post on Science and Enterprise: Mobile App Studied to Measure Kidney Disease Anemia https://t.co/QCCfEcnOzf #Science #Business
    about 21 mins ago
  • Nine universities in the U.S. are taking part in a program supporting research and entrepreneurs developing food an… https://t.co/oZ2i6R14UB
    about 4 hours ago
  • New post on Science and Enterprise: Nine Campuses Join Rural Food Research Fund https://t.co/vYlPet30bO #Science #Business
    about 4 hours ago
  • Spark Therapeutics, a developer of gene therapies, is gaining access to a technology that programs DNA sequences li… https://t.co/WGboSsrf7U
    about 1 day ago

Please share Science & Enterprise

Novartis to Develop Flu Vaccines with Synthetic Genomics

DNA fragment (Wikimedia Commons)

(Wikimedia Commons)

Novartis, a global pharmaceutical company based in Basel, Switzerland, says today it will join with Synthetic Genomics Vaccines Inc. (SGVI), in La Jolla, California to apply a combination of synthetic biology and genomics to accelerate production of influenza seed strains required for vaccine manufacturing. Seed strains are starter cultures of a virus, and the base from which larger quantities of the vaccine virus can be grown.

Novartis and SGVI plan to develop a set of synthetically constructed seed viruses ready for production as soon as the World Health Organization (WHO) identifies the needed seasonal and pandemic flu strains. The technology, says Novartis, could reduce vaccine production times by up to two months, which is particularly critical in the event of a pandemic. Vaccine manufacturers normally need WHO’s identification and distribution of live reference viruses before any vaccine development can begin.

Synthetic genomics is a field in which computer systems design and construct genomes in the laboratory using chemical techniques. When the genome of a potential influenza vaccine seed virus is synthesized and placed in a suitable cell, the essential starting material for an influenza vaccine can be produced.

Novartis says it plans to test vaccines that could result from this new process in large-scale clinical trials, and seek approval from country health authorities before any commercial use.

SGVI is a new company formed by Synthetic Genomics Inc. and the not-for-profit research institute, the J. Craig Venter Institute.

The three-year agreement with SGVI is supported by a grant from the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), to help find a more effective response to seasonal and pandemic flu outbreaks.

Related: HHS Review Highlights Role of Business in Medical Countermeasures

1 comment to Novartis to Develop Flu Vaccines with Synthetic Genomics