Vaccine production boosted by collaboration between GSK and Alnylam

Good news for governments around the world who wish to establish national disease protection programs! GlaxoSmithKline has allied with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals to develop the latter’s RNA interference (RNAi) technology with GSK vaccines. Meanwhile, advancement has been announced in development of PharmAthene's SparVax anthrax vaccine for rapid manufacturing scale-up.

GlaxoSmithKline will be applying VaxiRNA, an RNAi platform created by Alnylam to produce viruses used in vaccine manufacturing, to its existing cell-culture production processes used in making influenza and other shots. Alnylam will also be provided with research funding and additional payments if the collaboration is successful.

RNAi, which can silence genes that limit or prevent virus growth, will be able to boost the speed of vaccine production in both cell- and egg-based production systems, stated Alnylam. This will address the lengthy production time of vaccines which is the common main limiting factor in vaccine production.

Another vaccine producing company, PharmAthene meanwhile announced its completion of first cGMP commercial-scale manufacturing run of SparVax, its recombinant anthrax vaccine. Analytical testing is under way and expected to be completed next month.

PharmAthene is a vaccine production company which caters the need for national security emergencies by providing rapid manufacturing scale-up in producing vaccines. The company is supported by the U.S. Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

GlaxoSmithKline will be one of the participating pharmaceutical firms in this year's BioPharma Asia Convention. Professor Ceri Davies, Vice President, Head of GSK Singapore R&D Site, Head of Neural Pathways DPU will be speaking during Drug Discovery World Asia on "Formulating innovative and effective therapeutic treatments for neurodegenerative diseases".

Interested to find out more about Professor Ceri Davies and GlaxoSmithKline? Register online now for the event or contact Huisan Soh at +65 6322 2770 or

See you from 19-22 March 2012 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore!