Prevnar and the production of carbohydrate based vaccines
Case Study 4 – Prevnar and the production of carbohydrate based vaccines
Prevnar is a glycoconjugate vaccine against pneumonia used to fight infections caused by pneumococcal bacteria, and achieved annual sales of approximately $6 billion in 2015. Several variants are now available containing multiple serotypes of pneumococcus e.g. Prevnar 13 containing 13 serotypes.
These vaccines have established the principle of vaccine design based on microbial polysaccharides as a promising generic strategy. Recent advances in molecular biology and glycoscience provide us now with an opportunity to develop improved vaccines by addressing the issues around the carbohydrate component carbohydrate-based vaccines, and increasingly importantly, at the short timescales necessary to address antimicrobial resistance.
The fundamental glyco-technologies in analysis, synthesis, target development and production, combined in an integrated approach will provide the metrology needed for glycoconjugate vaccine development.
As for all drug development, vaccine research requires significant investment. However, the commercial success of Prevnar has shown that glycoconjugate vaccines present increasingly attractive targets in the ‘Biologics’ market for both human and animal health.
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