February 6, 2019

Basic Science
Count Me In! Click Here to Register

End of the Vaccine Era?
Why Nextgen Antibody Technology will Disrupt the Legacy Vaccine Enterprise


James Crowe, MD

Director, Vanderbilt Vaccine Center
Vanderbilt University

Clubhouse Location:
Klamon Room, Claudia Nance Rollins Building (8th Floor)
6:00pm — wine, cheese, networking
6:30pm — meeting convenes
7:45pm — casual buffet dinner, more networking

Dear Vacciners,
We all know how vaccines work. You give someone a shot/spray/drink of something that is pretending to be a bio-terrorist (i.e. pretending to be a dose of influenza, chickenpox, diphtheria, etc) and the next thing you know that person's body has totally fallen for the ruse and mounted a protective antibody response to the pretend terrorist. Which will come in mighty handy as soon as the real deal shows up.

That shot/spray/drink might contain a weakened version of the real deal (e.g. measles, tetanus), a killed version of the real deal (e.g. polio), or just some essential bits and bobs of the real deal (e.g. whooping cough) but, in all cases, the underlying goal is the same … to use a pretend bad guy / outside agitator to prompt your body into becoming a highly efficient factory capable of churning out buckets of antibodies on a moment's notice.

But what if, instead of going to all that trouble to create active immunity by prodding a person's body into pumping out oodles of antibodies against Dread Disease du Jour (DDdJ), you made passive immunity your goal and simply injected them with oodles of antibodies to DDdJ?

Would that even work?

Well, yes….

Assuming that you ever spent time as a fetus, you know from personal experience that passive immunity works just fine since you yourself were born chock full of antibodies your bio-mom handed you in utero (#bestbirthdaypresentever).

But passive immunity only lasts a few weeks/months post birth so how often would someone require a top-up of new antibodies to keep their adult-acquired passive immunity working?

And how would you even go about growing antibodies in vast enough quantities for the commercial market?

Oh, and if those hurdles are overcome does that mean that passive immunity is getting ready to Uberize vaccine technology and doom the poultry industry*?

Interesting questions all.

If the basic science needed to address these questions and pursue the answers interests you – and why wouldn't it? – come to the February meeting of the Vaccine Dinner Club and hear more about it from Dr. Crowe! Register Now.

Hope to see you for dinner at the Club on February 6,

*the poultry industry LOVES the vaccine industry because most traditional vaccines are grown in eggs