Automated instrumentation marks major breakthrough for vaccine production and personalized medicine
Biovest International, Inc. (Symbol: BVTI.OB), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of patient specific immunotherapeutics and automated cell culture instrumentation, presented its newest cell culture instrument, the AutovaxID
TM-C, at the Cancer Research Institute's recent meeting titled "Cancer Vaccines: Barriers, Endpoints and Opportunities." This was the first introduction of the AutovaxID TM-C to the biotech industry.
The AutovaxID-C is an automated hollow fiber cell culture instrument that collects secreted protein from cells and controls the growth of the cells automatically for 30 days or more. Growth takes place in sterile, disposable patient specific modules that are bar coded for ease of tracking and identification. Biovest believes that the AutovaxID-C instrument represents a significant advance in personalized medicine because it reduces the possibility of cross contamination and allows segregation of patient specific vaccine batches. Further expected advantages include reduced manpower requirements, automated batch record generation and improved efficiency in facility design.
"Cancer vaccines are one of the most exciting and promising fields of personalized medicine," said Carl M. Cohen, Ph.D., Chief Operating Officer, Biovest. "The production of a patient specific vaccine to immunize individuals against their own cancers has been a goal of investigators in both academia and industry. Biovest is currently testing an idiotype vaccine to treat follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphomas in a Phase 3 clinical trial."
"Our approach is unique in that it uses hybridoma technology to produce complete idiotype proteins identical to those on the tumor B cells. Results from early clinical trials are very encouraging and generating a lot of excitement in the medical community; however, there has been some concern about the challenge of producing personalized vaccines on a large scale. At this meeting we presented the first of a suite of instruments, designed and produced by the Biovest Advanced Instrumentation Division, that automates many of the steps involved in hybridoma-based manufacturing. We believe that our new instruments will facilitate the large-scale manufacture of personalized vaccines. We also believe that there is a significant market potential for this instrument," said Dr. Cohen.
About Biovest International: Biovest International, Inc. is a pioneer in the development of advanced individualized immunotherapies for life-threatening cancers of the blood system. Biovest is a majority owned subsidiary of Accentia Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: ABPI). Biovest has a foundation in the manufacture of biologics for research and for clinical trials. In addition, Biovest develops, manufactures, and markets patented cell culture systems including the AutovaxID-C which is being developed as a automated vaccine manufacturing instrument. Biovest's therapy for follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, BiovaxIDTM, is currently in a Phase 3 pivotal clinical trial at over 20 major centers in the US being conducted under a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the National Cancer Institute. For further information, please visit Biovest's website: www.biovest.com
Source: Eurekalert & othersLast reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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