Synthetic Vaccines

Synthetic vaccines are manufactured by the synthesis of antigens (peptides, glycopeptides, or nucleic acids) in a nonpathogenic cell or organism. Because these vaccines can now be rapidly and efficiently developed and manufactured via synthetic biology, they have now become viable alternatives to classical vaccines, which are composed of inactive or weakened pathogens and therefore have a slow manufacturing process. Moreover, synthetic vaccines can easily be modified to increase their immunogenicity.

Classical vaccines developed during the swine flu (H1N1) pandemic in 2009 were only marketed towards the end of the pandemic due to the slow manufacturing process which takes about 5-6 months on average. The World Health Organisation declared the disease an international crisis on April 25, 2009, while the first vaccine became available much later, on September 28, 2009. Thousands of lives could have been saved had the vaccine been manufactured more rapidly. This disaster displayed the vital role synthetic vaccines could play in modern medicine.

Thanks to its synthetic biology experience, Sentebiolab holds a critical position in this arena and is actively working on vaccine development. Sentebiolab also collaborates with and provides services to academic and industrial organizations for synthetic vaccine development.