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Published On: Thu, Jan 17th, 2013

Flublok, new influenza vaccine made using baculovirus receives FDA approval

Image/CDC

Image/CDC

The first trivalent influenza vaccine made using an insect virus (baculovirus) expression system and recombinant DNA technology, Flublok, received U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval Wednesday for the prevention of seasonal influenza in people 18 through 49 years of age, according to a FDA press release Jan. 16.

Flublok contains three, full-length, recombinant hemagglutinin (HA) proteins to help protect against two influenza virus A strains, H1N1 and H3N2, and one influenza virus B strain.

Flublok does not use the influenza virus or eggs in its production unlike current flu vaccines on the market, instead  Flublok’s novel manufacturing technology allows for production of large quantities of the influenza virus protein, hemagglutinin (HA) – the active ingredient in all inactivated influenza vaccines that is essential for entry of the virus into cells in the body. The majority of antibodies that prevent influenza virus infection are directed against HA.

While the technology is new to flu vaccine production, it is used to make vaccines that have been approved by the FDA to prevent other infectious diseases.

“This approval represents a technological advance in the manufacturing of an influenza vaccine,” said Karen Midthun, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research. “The new technology offers the potential for faster start-up of the vaccine manufacturing process in the event of a pandemic, because it is not dependent on an egg supply or on availability of the influenza virus.”

Flublok is manufactured by Protein Sciences Corp, of Meriden, Conn.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. ACIP recommends FluBlok for 2013-2014 flu season for adults with egg allergies - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] was licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in January […]

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