DailyDirt: Fighting The Next Pandemic

from the urls-we-dig-up dept

The last flu season was pretty rough, but there's a new H7N9 strain that has no vaccine (yet!) and is starting to infect and kill people (instead of sticking to birds). We're just about coming to the tenth anniversary of SARS, and we're still creating over 100 million flu vaccines every year using egg embryos -- a process that takes months, time that we might not have if a really serious flu strain spreads quickly across the globe. Here are a few projects that are making vaccines more quickly. If you'd like to read more awesome and interesting stuff, check out this unrelated (but not entirely random!) Techdirt post via StumbleUpon.
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Filed Under: bananas, flu, flu season, flublok, gmo, h7n9, robots, sars, tobacco, vaccine
Companies: darpa


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2013 @ 5:23pm

    Gee, what could go wrong?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2013 @ 5:59pm

      Re:

      Creating vaccines from transgenic plants seems much less dangerous than the flu itself. You do realize that insulin is produced by transgenic microbes nowadays, right?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Apr 2013 @ 7:10pm

    and this is exactly why you need big Pharm companies thriving, and making money off what they already produce.

    You cannot expect some backyard cloning company to produce these vaccines.

    "DARPA has a challenge out to anyone who can produce vaccines at a rate of 10 million doses in a month. [url]"

    so with a population of 300 million (the US), you would only have to wait 30 months to produce a vaccine for a YEARLY changing pathogen, by they time you've produced the vaccine for your population they are either dead or the virus has changed!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Michael Ho (profile), 4 Apr 2013 @ 11:40pm

      Re:

      Uh, you think that if a small company can figure out how to manufacture 10 million doses in a month that it couldn't scale it up in an actual pandemic?

      Plus, the existing big pharma companies don't have the technology to produce 300 million doses instantly, either.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2013 @ 2:51am

        Re: Re:

        10 million a month *IS* the scaled up goal they are being asked to achieve. Otherwise they would have set the challenge to something different to what it is !!!!!

        it's not rocket surgery!!!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2013 @ 2:55am

        Re: Re:

        they are not asking you to 'figure out' how too, they are asking you TO DO IT, or show (prove) you can do it.. and no I do not believe a small company would be able to show they could produce 10 mil does per month..

        because they are a small company, these 'small' companies are the ones that DEVELOP NO DRUGS, they produce public domain drugs, or drugs under license. They do not do the R&D, the development or the clinical trials..

        A small company does not have the resources or capabilities (or motive) to get into the development and R&D process.

        But you know that already I am sure..

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    FauxReal (profile), 4 Apr 2013 @ 11:20pm

    Interesting, robots growing flu vaccines via transgenic tobacco plants. So this is how the machines launch their sneak attack.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Apr 2013 @ 4:56am

    Tobacco industry desperately seeking new markets ... pity parade coming soon.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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