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FLU VACCINE MAY HIT FAST TRACK
San Diego Union-Tribune ^ | MAY 15, 2013 | Bradley J. Fikes

Posted on 05/19/2013 2:38:48 PM PDT by neverdem

Local researchers show online data transfer could lead to safer response in days rather than months

Flu pandemic vaccine manufacturing could begin in days, not months, potentially saving a great numbers of lives in case of a severe outbreak, according to a study published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine.

Starting with digitized viral genomes, researchers led by San Diego geneticist J. Craig Venter along with Rino Rappuoli of Novartis, reproduced, or “rescued” flu viruses in just four days and four hours. Traditional methods take about four months.

“To date, we have not encountered any influenza virus strain that cannot be rescued synthetically,” the paper stated. Moreover, the synthesized viruses grown in cell cultures make better vaccines than those made by the traditional method of growing them in chicken eggs, it stated.

The process allows immediate transfer of viral information to manufacturing centers by the Internet, eliminating the time and potential hazard of shipping specimens for culture.

The project was a public-private collaboration also involving Novartis’ Philip R. Dormitzer and the Department of Health and Human Services. It also included San Diego researchers from the J. Craig Venter Institute and Synthetic Genomics, which Venter founded. Its goal was to speed up response to new flu strains, especially from potentially deadly pandemics, by using modern biotechnology and the Internet.

The 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic demonstrated the need for faster and better vaccine production, Venter said.

“With H1N1, the vaccine didn’t become available until two months after the pandemic peaked,” Venter said. “And if H1N1 was going to be as bad as people predicted, there would have been a humongous number of deaths as a result of not having that vaccine.”

The process of developing and distributing the H1N1 vaccine took about nine months, Venter said. “If it’s a really egregious pandemic, I think we can get it down to six weeks.”

In addition to making viruses from Internet-transmitted information, the collaboration also seeks to create a digital bank of flu virus strains. If a new outbreak matches one of the strains already stored, vaccine manufacturing can begin nearly immediately, Venter said.

Moving away from using eggs to grow viruses is the other part of the story, Venter said. Novartis has recently received approval to make flu vaccines in animal cell cultures at a plant in North Carolina, using what are called Madin-Darby canine kidney, or MDCK, cells. This method is faster than growing in eggs and also is more suited to making vaccines that work in people, Venter said.

The best results will come from marrying the digital technology for making the virus with the new manufacturing technique.

“We’re going to put one of our synthetic facilities at the North Carolina plant, so all that has to be done with the new emerging flu strains of the future, is that the digital information is sent there, and the synthesis people will immediately make it, and it will go right into the production facility there,” Venter said. “Right now we’re making it in San Diego and shipping it by Federal Express, so we’ll eliminate a couple of days there.”

The work was funded by the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, in addition to the Novartis Foundation and National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Venter said the technology might work for other infectious diseases besides the flu.

“In theory, it could apply to anything where there’s rapid changes in the genome,” Venter said. “A lot of diseases that vaccines haven’t worked with are in that category.”


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; Technical
KEYWORDS: flu; fluvaccine; immunology; mdckcells; newfluvaccine
Synthetic Generation of Influenza Vaccine Viruses for Rapid Response to Pandemics
1 posted on 05/19/2013 2:38:48 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem

LOL, uh, no...


2 posted on 05/19/2013 2:46:21 PM PDT by Trailerpark Badass (So?)
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To: neverdem

Keep your poison. Flu vaccine in 1999 gave me GB.
Get the flu. Let your immune system fight it.


3 posted on 05/19/2013 2:47:24 PM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: Trailerpark Badass

no thanks, i will pass. i have oregano, garlic, clove oil, echinacea, ginseng, curcumin, milk thistle, d, c, nac, coq10, b vitamins, e, zinc, magnesium. i’m set.


4 posted on 05/19/2013 4:23:24 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (I can neither confirm or deny that; even if I could, I couldn't - it's classified.)
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To: Vaquero
Get the flu. Let your immune system fight it.

Or better yet, avoid the flu. Stay out of places with inadequate ventilation. Eat a diet really high in nutrients and totally without the bad stuff. Have plenty of liquids. My personal view is I won't take these vaccines. They're untested, and who knows how safe they'd be when there's a rush to produce them.

5 posted on 05/19/2013 4:31:58 PM PDT by grania
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To: neverdem
Search "venter" and "synthia" terms. Some claim that Venter's Synthia was injected into the BP oil well to convert oil to methane to provide pressure for pumping. The bad news it that it is still working and pushing lots of methane under the Gulf Coast. A brilliant move like that doesn't deserve a shot at wiping out humanity directly with a hack flu vaccine.
6 posted on 05/19/2013 6:04:28 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: Vaquero

What is GB? I have read about vaccines giving patients narcolepsy.


7 posted on 05/19/2013 6:12:09 PM PDT by Sawdring
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To: Vaquero

My 9 year old neice just contracted Guillian-Barre from her January flu shot. She’s been in the Dallas Children Hospital for 3 weeks. Sometimes on a respirator, Has had 20 plus blood transfusions.

Please pray for her. That vaccine should be taken off the market and never used on anyone.


8 posted on 05/19/2013 6:24:17 PM PDT by jayrunner
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To: jayrunner

Sorry. I will pray for this little girl.

I don’t oppose all vaccines. But the common flu can be taken care of by a healthy immune system.


9 posted on 05/20/2013 4:01:09 AM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: jayrunner
That vaccine should be taken off the market and never used on anyone.

Damn straight...and yet many health employees are FORCED to take these potential dangerous vaccines. Now employees are being tested for NICOTINE...you smoke? No job.

10 posted on 05/20/2013 4:13:39 AM PDT by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: neverdem; Vaquero; Secret Agent Man; grania; Myrddin; Sawdring

Oh, my goodness. It seems this particular article you posted brought the nuts out of the woodwork.

Rather than try to answer each one separately, I will list the responses here (in no particular order):

1) Guillain-Barré syndrome is caused by influenza. The chance of getting GB from influenza is far higher than the chance of getting it from a vaccine, for a couple of reasons. a—The flu shot is a dead virus that cannot cause infection. b—Traditional flu vaccines are made using a specific vaccine virus as a backbone; these vaccine viruses have been used for decades and have an excellent safety profile. Keep in mind that a flu vaccine has the same proteins in it as the flu virus that makes you sick, but in far lower quantities. It is those flu proteins that cause GB, but we don’t know how yet.

2) Although some “natural” compounds have demonstrable anti-viral activity, to my knowledge, garlic, magnesium, zinc, etc., have no effect on the influenza virus.

3) You can avoid influenza (maybe) if you never leave your house. Your best bet is to practice good sanitation—wash hands frequently, use the little hand sanitizers frequently, avoid touching your face, stay away from people with respiratory symptoms, and get vaccinated.

4) Yes, vaccines are tested. There isn’t a single vaccine allowed to be sold without FDA approval, which is only granted after clinical trials have demonstrated their safety. You can check the status of clinical studies yourself over at www.clinicaltrials.gov.

5) No synthetically made organisms were injected into oil wells or anywhere else. To do such a thing without extensive safety and environmental studies would be a horrible breach of scientific ethics.

6) Narcolepsy cases were noticed after the vaccination of children with an adjuvanted H1N1(pdm)2009 vaccine. I’ve seen the data; I’m not convinced. Studies are still on-going into this putative link. It seems to me that the relationship between the narcolepsy and the vaccine is more correlative than causative.


11 posted on 05/20/2013 4:53:09 AM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: exDemMom

how nice of you to call me a nut. as I schlep along half crippled with flu shot caused GB and auto immune triggered demyelinating peripheral neuropathy.

You don’t sound like an ExDem at all. sounds like you are dragging big government control over here to FR.

I have had various types of flu virus from birth till age 50 in 1999 without getting these diseases....my immune system up till then took care of the viruses.

If immunocompromized child dies of flu, it does not mean that a flu shot is a solution. Healthy children are not expected to die of flu. On the contrary, they are expected to built up their immune system. Only 105 children die even though some of them were vaccinated? Do you know about serious complication of flu shot? 1 out of 100,000 vaccinated develops GB. There are 55 millions of school age children in US. If you vaccinate all of them you will have 50 + paralyzed children as a result of GB. Plus some of the vaccinated still die of flu. What is the benefit? And do not forget to add preschoolers to those 55 millions... So my conclusion is: risk outweighs benefits.


12 posted on 05/20/2013 5:18:56 AM PDT by Vaquero (Don't pick a fight with an old guy. If he is too old to fight, he'll just kill you.)
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To: exDemMom
Nothing you wrote would change my mind about getting a flu vaccination. All the tests you do of what happens NOW with a new flu vaccine don't address long-term effects. They also don't evaluate how any vaccine will interact with other vaccines and medications. It's a math thing. As people take more and more vaccines and pharmaceuticals, the chances for negative inter-reactions increase exponentially.

But if you want to take vaccines and pharmaceuticals, hey, go for it. If you're correct about how great they are, it'll make the world safer for the rest of us.

13 posted on 05/20/2013 5:49:30 AM PDT by grania
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To: grania

I’ve never been a “Shrinking Violet”, here’s my two cents.
I had the Hong Kong flu in 1969 and was the sickest I’ve ever been (i was 23 then). Nothing, absolutely nothing, that I’ve or witnessed during my lifetime, compares to the HELL my niece and her family is experiencing.

I’d rather have the flu than have anyone, child or adult, on a respirator, have 20 plus blood transfusions, and face a lifetime of problems.

There is collateral damage. So far medical insurance is covering the major expenses, but my niece (the mother) is taking much time off work. She hasn’t been fired yet, but that’s a possibility.

My sister, the grandmother, is facing dismissal from her job because of “excessive time off.”

My grandniece doesn’t (can’t) understand what’s happened to her.

Like I said, give me the flu any day of the week instead of GBS.


14 posted on 05/20/2013 7:55:36 AM PDT by jayrunner
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To: Myrddin

Your post re methane gas confuses me. (Or I’m experiencing senility, which is always a possibility~)

How is a drug manufacturer linked with oil drilling?


15 posted on 05/20/2013 7:58:35 AM PDT by jayrunner
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To: exDemMom

Thanks for being a volunteer, giving real information and taking slings & arrows!


16 posted on 05/20/2013 9:12:39 AM PDT by neverdem (Register pressure cookers! /s)
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To: jayrunner

Did you search venter/synthia? Learn about his big screwup.


17 posted on 05/20/2013 9:12:50 AM PDT by Myrddin
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To: jayrunner
"give me the flu any day of the week instead of GBS"

Every few years, I get a few days of a mild case of flu or whatever and my body fights it off. Then, I seem to be immune to whatever everyone gets for the next few years. It's all in having a strong immune system and being sensible about potential for exposure, I suspect.

Best wishes to your niece and her family.

18 posted on 05/20/2013 9:38:39 AM PDT by grania
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To: Secret Agent Man
i have oregano, garlic, clove oil, echinacea, ginseng, curcumin, milk thistle, d, c, nac, coq10, b vitamins, e, zinc, magnesium. i’m set.

Good start with the natural stuff but you very definitely need to add the h2 agonists and ACE or ARBs.

19 posted on 05/20/2013 9:52:16 AM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not NurtureĀ™)
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To: grania
Then, I seem to be immune to whatever everyone gets for the next few years

Unless it is an exotic strain with no human precedent. You have no antibodies to it. This is becoming increasingly common, but so far the strains haven't acquired the genetic material to zip around from human to human, or weren't that virulent.

20 posted on 05/20/2013 9:58:46 AM PDT by steve86 (Acerbic by Nature, not NurtureĀ™)
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To: Vaquero

You will notice that I did not claim that you are lying about having GB. I explained as unemotionally as possible about GB; often people take my unemotional presentation as criticism, which it is not. I firmly believe that emotions should not be allowed to color information. My comment about the kooks was not aimed at you.

GB is an autoimmune disease which most often happens after certain infections. About 1 per 100,000 children under 18 develop GB per year, unrelated to vaccines. Less than 1 case per 1,000,000 vaccinated is thought to occur.

The most likely cause of this autoimmune disease (GB) is that a protein in the pathogen looks like a human nervous system protein. When your body responds to the pathogen by making antibodies, some of those antibodies then recognize these nervous system proteins as invaders. Cells containing those proteins are destroyed by the immune system. I think that how much influenza proteins resemble human nervous system proteins is dependent on the type of influenza. There are many types of influenza; new influenza viruses appear frequently.

When you receive a vaccine, you get a small dose of influenza proteins. When you get influenza, you get a large dose of those proteins. I think that a person who is unlucky enough to develop GB after a vaccination would almost certainly develop GB if they were to get sick with the same virus that is in the vaccine.

Perfectly healthy children die from influenza. They can die because influenza induces a “cytokine storm”, which is when the immune system goes into overdrive. Or they can die because influenza weakens the immune system, causing them to be susceptible to bacterial infections. Or the influenza can just kill them without those complications. People over 65 are also highly likely to die of influenza. Healthy adults below age 65 are less likely to die of influenza.

A vaccine contains a selection of proteins from the pathogen. It cannot make you sick. It teaches your body how to respond if you encounter that pathogen. There is no antigen in the vaccine that isn’t in the pathogen. However, in many cases, the pathogen can kill.


21 posted on 05/20/2013 6:22:59 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: grania

Did you go to www.clinicaltrials.gov and read a few of the clinical trials being conducted on influenza vaccines right now? You can also go to www.pubmed.org and look for published studies on vaccine trials. Vaccines are extensively tested in thousands of patients. I don’t know where you get the idea that they aren’t tested.

Vaccines are made out of dead pathogens. In the unlikely event a vaccine interacted with some drug, then the live pathogen would certainly interact with that drug. And since live pathogens can do so much damage, up to permanent damage and death, I’d rather have a small dose of dead pathogen in a vaccine.

Vaccines are probably the most important medical advance in human history. Vaccines are responsible for the fact that the life span is now close to 80 years. We eradicated the killer smallpox with vaccines, and are on track for eradicating polio within a few years. Vaccines already have made the world safer for us.


22 posted on 05/20/2013 6:33:15 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: neverdem

Any time!

I hate to see misinformation stand unrebutted. I’m afraid that otherwise, people may think the misinformation is valid and act on it, unaware that they are endangering their lives.


23 posted on 05/20/2013 6:38:17 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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To: jayrunner

I hate to sound harsh, but if your niece got GB from a vaccine, then she almost certainly would have gotten GB by getting sick with the live virus.

GB is caused by the immune system reacting against pathogen proteins. The vaccine contains the same proteins as the live pathogen. The most common cause of GB is infection.


24 posted on 05/20/2013 6:49:23 PM PDT by exDemMom (Now that I've finally accepted that I'm living a bad hair life, I'm more at peace with the world.)
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