AN ADVANCE IN INFLUENZA VACCINE MANUFACTURING TECHNOLOGY
Supemtek (Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine,
recombinant prepared in cell-culture), is manufactured using recombinant
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Watch the video below to find out more about how Supemtek is manufactured.
Recombinant technology eliminates the possibility of adaptation or mutation by replicating only the haemagglutinin (HA) antigen direct from a genetic sequence. The resulting antigens are an exact genetic match to the target strain.2,3
In the production of Supemtek, the HA antigen DNA for each World Health Organization
(WHO)-recommended influenza strain is combined with host cell DNA.1,3
Because only the DNA for each influenza antigen is used, there is no live virus replication during the recombinant process.3
Supemtek contains 3x more HA antigen (45 mcg versus 15 mcg) per strain, compared with cell- and egg-based standard-dose quadrivalent influenza vaccines.2
Once the WHO has identified and announced the predicted strains for the upcoming influenza season, the first step of vaccine manufacturing can begin.
The genetic code for each HA antigen of the four target influenza strains is sequenced by the WHO. Rather than provide a candidate vaccine virus (CVV), the newly sequenced code can be sent via email.
HA antigen DNA sequences of interest are inserted into a transfer vector for recombination with a baculovirus for expression.
The baculovirus containing target HA DNA is then imported into an insect
The host cells are grown to produce large quantities of antigen for each of the target strains.
Once host cell cultures have been grown, the HA proteins are harvested and purified.
The recombinant influenza product is then formulated into the influenza vaccine.
According to evidence gathered over previous flu seasons, influenza vaccine effectiveness against A/H3N2 influenza viruses may have been lower than against other influenza strains. This may be due to egg adaptation, resulting in an antigenic mismatch between the vaccine strain and strains circulating during a particular influenza season.5–8
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CVV, Candidate Vaccine Virus; HA, haemagglutinin; WHO, World Health
Quadrivalent Influenza Vaccine (recombinant, prepared in cell culture) Summary of Product Characteristics.
Sanofi Pasteur [January 2021].
Dunkle LM, et al. N Engl J Med. 2017;376:2427–36.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How influenza (flu) vaccines are made.
https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/how-fluvaccine-made.htm#recombinant [Last accessed September 2021].
Harding AT and Heaton NS. Vaccines. 2018;6:19.
Skowronski DM, et al. PLoS ONE. 2014;9:e92153.
Zost, SJ, et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2017;114:12578–83.
Widjaja L, et al. Virology. 2006;350:137–45.
Flannery, B, et al. Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018;67:180–85.
Adverse events should be reported. Reporting forms and information can be found at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard
or search for MHRA Yellow Card in the Google Play or Apple App
Store. Adverse events should also be reported to the Sanofi drug
safety department on 0800 0902 314.
Alternatively send via email to
Find out more about the efficacy, immunogenicity and safety profile of Supemtek
COMPARISON VERSUS STANDARD INFLUENZA VACCINES
Find out more about the results of the systematic literature review from the ECDC
Date of preparation: September 2021 | MAT-GB-2003350(v2.0)