Poultry Health Division of Pfizer Animal Health Enhances Human Flu Vaccine Production
DURHAM, N.C.--Human flu and the vaccines used to prevent it are a major focus in today’s medical world. The Poultry Health Division of Pfizer Animal Health supplies two device platforms for use in human flu vaccine manufacturing facilities –– The Embrex® Inovoject® Systems; Egg Remover® and the Embrex® Inovoject® System. Human flu vaccine is produced in eggs. The Egg Remover is used to provide an accurate, automatic and fast means of removing non-viable eggs before inoculation, while the Embrex Inovoject System is used for egg inoculation during the production process.
The devices used in this market have been adapted from automated equipment designed for use in commercial poultry hatcheries. The rigors of the hatchery environment provided a foundation of proven performance, quality and reliability required in the human flu biological market. For this market, machine components were modified to meet Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) standards as required by the world’s regulatory agencies, while still maintaining the speed and reliability of the equipment.
Several vaccine producers and their egg suppliers have installed the Egg Remover system to provide an accurate, automatic and rapid means of removing non-viable eggs before inoculation, which was previously performed manually. Only the viable eggs are inoculated using the Inovoject System. The Egg Remover System provides a higher level of accuracy than can be achieved through manual candling, which is subject to operator error. Additionally, processing time is improved due to the speed of the system.
The Embrex Inovoject System has quality and process attributes, which have made it a vital part of meeting the rigorous technical and regulatory requirements of human flu vaccine producers, including a proprietary sanitation system which cleans each needle between every egg inoculation.
“The Inovoject System sanitizes needles and punches after every inoculation and, so, greatly reduces carry-over of contamination between eggs,” says David Baines, PPH Flu Device Consultant and Former VP of Embrex. “Large reductions in the level of bacterial endotoxins found in the harvested fluid have resulted from the use of the Inovoject system.”
The Poultry Health Division of Pfizer Animal Health is currently developing an improved candling process that will have even greater accuracy. This system will be used as a quality control device for the eggs as they enter human flu production and will remove any dead or low viability eggs that might result in contamination of the process. “Due to its knowledge of embryology and the in ovo process, The Poultry Health Division of Pfizer Animal Health is constantly looking for improvements and equipment that may further assist human flu vaccine producers,” says William Symington, Group Director of the Poultry Health Division of Pfizer Animal Health Human Flu Business. “Human flu vaccine producers continue to expand their activities, and are constantly looking for high quality equipment to automate and ensure quality of their processes.”
The first Embrex Inovoject System was installed for human flu vaccine use 13 years ago and, since then, it has been widely adopted –– to the point of becoming the global standard for major multinational human flu vaccine producers. Many large producers have replaced existing equipment with the Embrex Inovoject System. With the system’s speed of throughput, injection accuracy and quality performance, the Embrex Inovoject System is revolutionizing this market.