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Covid-19: Weighing solutions from Minebea Intec support vaccine production
In China, the biotech company CanSino is working together with the military medical department to develop a vaccine against the Covid-19 virus. The researchers are supported by products from Minebea Intec: These play an important role in the manufacturing process and ensure that high-precision weighing and dosing is possible. The decision to rely on the German manufacturer's solutions was obvious: CanSino is only using premium industrial equipment, and they previously relied on quality "Made in Germany" by Minebea Intec in 2014, when it developed a vaccine against Ebola.
The Tianjin-based company is one of 41 companies worldwide working on a vaccine against the virus. CanSino was one of the first institutions to start working on a vaccination against Covid-19 and just recently secured permission from the Chinese government to start tests with humans in a clinical trial. Prior to this, Minebea Intec's products ensured reliable weighing results, precise dosing and rapid transmission of the measured data during the production of the first substances.
Precise weighing and formulation: How Minebea Intec´s products are used
The products of the leading manufacturer of weighing and inspection technologies are appreciated by many customers in the pharmaceutical and bio-chemical industry. The biotech company CanSino relies on the expertise of Minebea Intec at three basic points in the production of the vaccine. With the Adenovirus-based viral vector vaccine technology, the RNA fragments of Covid-19 virus were inserted into the Adenovirus to form a recombinant protein vaccine. This combination-product was put into a bioreactor, where three compact PR 6212 load cells are installed underneath. In this bioreactor, the combination products are scaled-up and purified under precisely controlled conditions to create the basis for the vaccine. The PR6212 load cell is used here to measure weight in real time so that adjustments can be made as quickly as possible, if required. The load cell results are highly accurate and have a failure class of only 0.04%, even though the bioreactor is constantly stirring the materials, thus making precise measurements more demanding. The load cells are connected to a PR 6130/65S junction box, which has an IP protection of up to IP69, making it extremely resistant from outside forces. The data is then transmitted to a computer system by a PR 5211/10 transmitter.
After the scale-up process in the bioreactor, the resulting product is purified of all unwanted substances. However, the resulting pure product cannot be tested directly on humans in this form. It must be supplemented with additives such as adjuvants and stabilizers. A mobile IF floor scale from Minebea Intec is used here, which provides a very high weighing-resolution of up to 30,000 d and which further benefits the process due to its high-quality materials, which makes it ideal for the use in tough surroundings. The purified raw material is placed in a container on the floor scale, the additional ingredients are then added using the manual recipe function of the scale. After a further test phase in the laboratory, the final phase follows: the clinical test of the substance. “The process of finding a vaccine against corona is one of the most important tasks worldwide right now. Results are needed as soon as possible -but with no compromise on quality and safety,” emphasizes Jiang Wang, General Manager of Minebea Intec China. “Our products play a vital role of delivering optimal accuracy and real-time weighing-results.”
CoVid 19: How the vaccine is tested
For the Ad5-nCoV vaccine, CanSino relies on an adenovirus-based viral vector platform that was also used for the Ebola vaccine. The vaccine has already been successfully tested on animals. Both the safety of the vaccine was verified and the substance was classified as capable of inducing immunity to the virus. In the first phase of the human trials, healthy people aged 18 to 60 years will be tested in Wuhan, where the first cases of SARS Covid 19 were reported. 108 participants will be divided into three groups that will receive different doses of the vaccine. While the main objective is the safety of the vaccine, the efficacy and levels of antibodies will also be measured.
„We feel honored that CanSino is, after having used our products for the Ebola-vaccine, putting trust again in our products,“ emphasizes Jiang Wang. “Although it is but a small contribution, we are glad that our solutions support the fight against corona!“