Lyophilization of Vaccines: Current Trends
Lyophilization of Vaccines: Current Trends
Gerald D. J. Adams
August 2003
Humana Press
Regardless of how effective a vaccine may be in the laboratory, unless the suspension can be stabilized for storage and distribution, its commercial potential will be limited. Lyophilization (freeze-drying) is a well-established technique used in the pharmaceutical industry for stabilizing high-cost, labile bioproducts, such as vaccines. Alternative techniques that require the establishment of a cold chain can present problems, including the potential loss of vaccine stocks resulting from freezer failure and difficulties and costs when distributing frozen materials.
Methods of stabilizing biomaterials by desiccation can be traced back to prehistoric times. One of the earliest recorded vaccine applications was by Jenner, who prepared dried vaccinia impregnated threads to protect against smallpox. By the end of the 19th century, Altman and Shackell described lyophilization on a scientific basis, and in 1913, Vansteenberg used the method to dry rabies virus. Since the 1930s, lyophilization has become firmly established as an industrial process for manufacturing pharmaceuticals and foods.
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