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Contacts: Phoenix Barringer, Bend Research Inc., +541.382.4100, phoenix.barringer@bendresearch.com; Amy Wales, PATH, +206.302.4689, awales@path.org; Dale Ervin, Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology, +302.369.3034, dervin@fraunhofer-cmb.org.

Bend, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, and Newark, Delaware, November 28, 2012—Bend Research Inc., PATH, and Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology (FhCMB) announce the development of a new technology for the production of thermostable vaccines. Utilizing novel formulation and spray-drying processing methods, the technology has enabled scientists at Bend Research, PATH, and FhCMB to develop a spray-dried influenza vaccine product that is stable at 50°C for over 2 months. The technology can also be applied to emerging influenza and other vaccines.

Thermostable influenza vaccines hold promise for improving the pandemic preparedness of national immunization programs by extending product shelf life, decreasing the cost of vaccine stockpiling, and easing the deployment of vaccines against pandemic influenza strains in the United States or developing countries. Thermostable vaccines can also help to ensure vaccine potency in remote areas of the world with limited to no electricity for cold chain refrigeration.

“As an industry leader in spray-drying and the formulation of biotherapeutics, we are excited to work with PATH and FhCMB to address the unmet need for thermostable flu vaccines in developing countries,” said Rod Ray, CEO of Bend Research Inc. “This work aligns with our mission to advance the best new medicines to patients.”

Spray-drying processing methods are well-established for the development and manufacture of pharmaceuticals and dry food products but have rarely been applied to vaccines—until now. The next phase of technical work for the Bend Research Inc., PATH, and FhCMB partnership includes developing a commercially viable process for producing thermostable influenza vaccines using this breakthrough technology.

All research activities under the partnership are supported with a grant from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency of the United States Department of Defense and leverages earlier proof-of-concept work advanced by PATH.

About Bend Research Inc. 

For more than 35 years, Bend Research Inc. has worked with clients to create value by advancing new medicines that improve human health and to solve their most difficult scientific and technical problems. This success is based on the company’s ability to develop, advance, and commercialize pharmaceutical technologies, which grow from a solid base of scientific and engineering fundamental understanding.

Bend Research Inc. provides several capabilities, including formulation and dosage-form support, assists in process development and optimization, manufactures clinical trial quantities of drug candidates in its cGMP facilities, and advances promising drug candidates from conception through commercialization. The company is a leader in novel formulations, including spray-dried dispersions and hot-melt extrusion formulations, as well as controlled-release, inhalation, and biotherapeutics technologies. With more than 285 employees, Bend Research Inc. is based in six state-of-the-art facilities in Bend, Oregon, USA.

About PATH

PATH is an international nonprofit organization that transforms global health through innovation. PATH takes an entrepreneurial approach to developing and delivering high-impact, low-cost solutions, from lifesaving vaccines and devices to collaborative programs with communities. Through its work in more than 70 countries, PATH and its partners empower people to achieve their full potential. For more information, please visit www.path.org.

About Fraunhofer USA Center for Molecular Biotechnology

FhCMB develops safe, rapid, and economical alternatives for vaccine production. FhCMB has a fully functioning GMP pilot-scale production facility and has the complete suite of capabilities necessary for product development services from target expression through Phase 1 and 2 clinical trials.

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