Development of an animal component free production process for Sabin inactivated polio vaccine

Vaccine X, 2022


Inactivated polio vaccine production using attenuated Sabin strains (sIPV) instead of wild type polio viruses (cIPV) is an initiative encouraged by the World Health Organization. This use of attenuated viruses is preferred as it reduces risks related to potential outbreaks during IPV production. Previously, an sIPV production process was set up based on the cIPV production process. Optimizing this process while using only animal component free (ACF) substances allows reduction of operational costs and mitigates risks of adverse effects related with animal derived compounds. Here, development of a process for production of sIPV using only ACF compounds, is described.

The upstream process required a change in cell growth medium from serum-containing medium to ACF medium, while virus production media remained the same as the already used M199 medium was free of animal components. In the downstream process multiple modifications in existing unit operations were made including addition of a diafiltration step prior to inactivation. After optimizing each unit operation, robustness of the whole process was demonstrated using design of experiments (DoE) methodology. By using DoE we were able to vary different process parameters across unit operations to assess the impact on our quality attributes. The developed process was robust as the observed variation for quality attributes due to differences in process parameters remained within specification.

The resulting pilot process showed not only to be robust, but also to have a considerable higher product yield when compared to the serum containing sIPV process. Product yields are now comparable to the cIPV process based on using wild type polio viruses. Moreover, the potency of the produced vaccine was comparable that of cIPV vaccine. The developed ACF sIPV process can be transferred to vaccine manufacturers at the end-of pre-clinical development phase, at lab- or pilot scale, before production of clinical trial material.

Vero Cell HCP ELISA kit F500 manufactured by our partner Cygnus Technologies is featured in this study.

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