VAC2VAC is a wide-ranging collaborative research project funded by IMI2 which aims to develop and validate quality testing approaches for both human and veterinary vaccines using non-animal methods. The initiative that started on 1 March 2016 aims to provide the data to support the "Consistency Approach" for quality control of established vaccines, where current quality control approaches are often relying on in vivo methods.

VAC2VAC is a public-private consortium of twenty partners, involving experts from veterinary and human vaccine industry in a partnership with official medicines control laboratories, academia, translational research organisations, and vaccinology alliances. To achieve their goal, the project partners will develop, optimise and evaluate physico-chemical and immunochemical methods, cell-based and other assays for routine batch quality, safety and efficacy testing of vaccines. This will be done in collaboration and consultation with regulatory agencies. The ultimate goal of the project is to develop tests and approaches that will allow acceptance of the "Consistency Approach" for established vaccines by the regulatory agencies and thereby significantly reducing in the future the use of animals for batch testing in routine vaccine production.


Check new publications of VAC2VAC:


Regulation of Clostridium tetani Neurotoxin Expression by Culture Conditions

Jeroen L.A. Pennings, Eric Abachin, Raphaël Esson, Hennie Hodemaekers, Antoine Francotte, Jean-Baptiste Claude, Céline Vanhee, Sylvie Uhlrich, and Rob Vandebriel


Background: Ensuring consistency of tetanus neurotoxin (TeNT) production by Clostridium tetani could help to ensure consistent product quality in tetanus vaccine manufacturing, ultimately contributing to reduced animal testing. The aim of this study was to identify RNA signatures related to consistent TeNT production using standard and non-standard culture conditions. Methods: We applied RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) to study C. tetani gene expression in small-scale batches under several culture conditions. Results: We identified 1381 time-dependent differentially expressed genes (DEGs) reflecting, among others, changes in growth rate and metabolism. Comparing non-standard versus standard culture conditions identified 82 condition-dependent DEGs, most of which were specific for one condition. The tetanus neurotoxin gene (tetX) was highly expressed but showed expression changes over time and between culture conditions. The tetX gene showed significant down-regulation at higher pH levels (pH 7.8), which was confirmed by the quantification data obtained with the recently validated targeted LC-MS/MS approach. Conclusions: Non-standard culture conditions lead to different gene expression responses. The tetX gene appears to be the best transcriptional biomarker for monitoring TeNT production as part of batch-to-batch consistency testing during tetanus vaccine manufacturing. Download full article