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Human Flu Vaccine Manufacturing Benefits from In Ovo Technology

Wednesday, January 28, 2009 8:08 am EST

Dateline:

DURHAM, N.C.
"We are highly committed to quality, safety and innovation, whether we’re assisting in raising healthy animals, supporting global food production or helping protect human lives"

DURHAM, N.C.--The same technology used in broiler and broilerbreeder operations worldwide has another important application: manufacturing of human flu vaccine.

The Poultry Health Division of Pfizer Animal Health (PPH) supplies global manufacturers of human flu vaccine with two widely used technologies: the Embrex® Inovoject® System, and the Embrex Inovoject System - Egg Remover®.

“Poultry eggs currently are used as a growth medium for most human flu vaccines produced worldwide,” explains Jack Hebrank, Senior Principal Scientist for PPH. “The highly precise Inovoject System has been adapted for the purpose of inoculating the flu virus into eggs. Additionally, the Egg Remover system accurately candles and removes non-viable eggs between days 10 and 11 of incubation prior to inoculation.”

The application of the Inovoject System to human vaccine production required a number of equipment modifications, as well as a verification process. The device was designed to meet sterility and quality standards established by the flu vaccine manufacturers in accordance with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards.

Now, PPH has carried the commitment to human flu vaccine manufacturing a broad step further, by investing in new technology that will make flu vaccine production even more precise and quality-oriented.

The Embrex Inovoject System - ER Heartbeat® - has an egg-candling and removal verification process which will use light for the detection of an embryonic heartbeat. This is an advancement compared to current candling systems, which use visible or infrared light to evaluate embryo presence, but not the live status of the bird. According to Hebrank, the new, light-based technology will deliver flats of eggs that contain 99.8 percent live embryos when used between the ages of 10 and 14 days of incubation.

“The ER Heartbeat system will assess whether or not an embryo is truly alive prior to inoculation, and will positively detect recently dead eggs that may harbor bacterial contamination,” explains Hebrank “Compared to the current systems, which only can indicate that an embryo is significantly smaller and less opaque than normal live embryos, the new technology offers significant improvements for use in human flu vaccine production.”

Japanese poultry distributor and customer, I.P. Tsusho Co., Ltd., has utilized the Inovoject and Egg Remover systems for several years in commercial poultry production. More recently, they have utilized the Egg Remover system for candling of eggs they supply to a human flu vaccine manufacturer in Japan. “The commitment to quality and performance that accompanies these devices always has been impressive,” says Shiro Negishi, Executive Director for I.P. Tsusho Co. “We are eager to apply the precision of the ER Heartbeat system to our human flu vaccine manufacturing processes.”

The adaptation of broiler-production equipment to human flu vaccine production -- and the advancement of that technology exclusively for the human vaccine market -- is a part of Pfizer’s ongoing dedication to enhancing both animal and human health worldwide, according to William Symington, DVM, MBA, group director of PPH, Human Flu Business. “We are highly committed to quality, safety and innovation, whether we’re assisting in raising healthy animals, supporting global food production or helping protect human lives,” he says.

The Poultry Health Division of Pfizer Animal Health is a leading provider of innovative, high-performance poultry health solutions to the global poultry industry. Built upon the combined strength and experience of Embrex and Pfizer Animal Health, the Pfizer Poultry Health is committed to developing and marketing commercially novel vaccines and mechanical and data management products which continue to provide increasing value to the global poultry health industry. For more information about the Pfizer Poultry Health, visit us online at www.pfizerpoultryhealth.com.

Contact:

For More Information:
Melinda Freson
Pfizer Poultry Health
919-314-2698
melinda.freson@pfizer.com
or
Jill Spiekerman-Carrothers
MartinWilliams
515-971-9613
j.spiekerman@martinwilliams.com