Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that is caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family. Rubella is associated with arthritis and pregnancy complications. The distribution of measles vaccine and rubella vaccines has had a significant effect on global public health. One of the challenges that is associated with obtaining high levels of vaccination coverage is the instability of live vaccines that have been approved for human use. There remains a need to enhance the thermal stability of vaccines to improve their transportation and storage.
The focus of this effort, led by NC State Professor Roger Narayan is the translation of an existing physical vapor deposition technology known as matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation for instantly manufacturing the dry product form of the Measles-Rubella (MR) vaccine in dual-chamber injectable devices. The goals of this project include reducing the processing time to create a dry product vaccine while demonstrating the room temperature stability of the dry product vaccine. The matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation approach would be transformative for vaccine manufacturers in developing countries since the matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation process instantly creates the dry product vaccine.
If the project is successful, then developing country vaccine manufacturers will have a low-cost processing approach to create dry product vaccines for BCG, Japanese encephalitis, measles, measles/rubella, meningococcal A, rabies, rotavirus, varicella, and yellow fever. The data obtained in this project will provide a new body of knowledge on the relationships between the matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation processing parameters and the critical quality attributes for a commonly used vaccine.
An NC State Biological Use Authorization (BUA) “Measles Dry Product Vaccine Evaluation and Virus Production and Training Development” was approved November 2022. Dr. Narayan’s students will be working with live attenuated vaccine strains of measles to run standard quality control testing. Work with measles vaccine material will be conducted under BSL-2 conditions at BTEC, Annex, Keystone Center. An authorization for the matrix-assisted pulsed laser evaporation (MAPLE) processing was submitted in January 2023 and is under review by NC State Environmental Health & Safety. Dr. Narayan has also received support from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for this project.