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Presentation: Cell based Vaccine Production: Improving the Environmental Footprint

Wednesday 31 March 2021

DPS Group's William Whitford and Magali Barbaroux, presented this talk at the 2021 virtual ISPE Aseptic Meeting.

The European Commission’s Green Deal, elements of the UN General Assembly’s Agenda for Sustainable Development, and The US President elect’s commitment to the Paris Agreement all speak to the need to address sustainable biomanufacturing.  Single-use (SU) technology in in both eukaryotic and prokaryotic cell-based vaccine manufacturing is growing as it provides increases in manufacturing economy, speed safety, and flexibility.  Counter-intuitively, Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) has demonstrated that SU usually produce less environmental burden than does the conventional, durable manufacturing.  Furthermore, SU biomanufacturing provides unique health and safety benefits while contributing a very small fraction of total plastic waste.  Nevertheless, materials suppliers, engineers, architects and vaccine manufacturers desire to reduce these environmental burdens even further.  They report that such powerful initiatives as Industry 4.0, process intensifications and LCA are contributing to the 6 Rs approach to greener use of SU materials: rethink, reduce, reengineer, reuse, recycle and recover energy. 4.0 initiatives are supporting improved product design, distribution streamlining, inventory efficiencies and the reduction of plastic mass and waste in expired pieces.  Bioprocess intensification techniques provide such efficiencies as a shortened process train (reducing plastic mass per lot), increased product per volume (reducing manufactured lots) and improved downstream efficiencies (reducing loss in purification). Finally, recovery of the manufacturing material’s stored energy by incineration for power generation, pyrolysis to produce a liquid fuel, or reuse of the cast plastic polymer for producing such products as lumber or roads are currently available considerations for environmental footprint reduction. Even more powerful technologies are in development to support employing cleaned polymer in new products, de-polymerizing and re-polymerizing plastic to virgin resin, or even breaking the plastic monomer down to its constituent simple chemicals for use in producing virgin plastic monomer.

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