Frederik Laleman

Frederik Laleman

Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Process Analytical Technology

Ottergemsesteenweg 460

B-9000 Gent (Belgium) 
Tel.: +32-9-264.80.90
Education: Engineer (Master of science in industrial sciences, biochemistry)

Fast drying technologies to stabilize vaccines

Drying is a commonly used mythology to improve the long-term stability of biotherapeutics. Typically, drying is accomplished by lyophilization, but this technique has several drawbacks like long processing time, large footprint, huge energy consumption and it is still a batch-wise process. These limitations have led to the search to alternative technologies for the dehydration of biopharmaceuticals.

The objective of this research project is to compare four next-generation fast-drying technologies side-by-side using four different types of vaccines (LAVV, protein, conjugate and RNA).

Spray-drying is a continuous drying process that converts a liquid feed into particles with desired physicochemical and morphological characteristics. It consists of three consecutive steps: atomization, hot air drying and particle collection. This drying technology is the most deviant drying technology compared to conventional freeze-drying but has already been shown as a viable drying approach to improve the stability of a thermolabile biologicals.

Spray-freeze-drying can be seen as a combination of spray-drying and freeze-drying. A liquid formulation is nebulized into a cryogenic medium to produce frozen spherical droplets. After spray-freezing, the frozen droplets are transferred to a freeze-dryer to dehydrate and to obtain a dry powder.

Microwave-assisted freeze-drying is comparable with the classical freeze-drying process but uses microwave energy to enable sublimation and desorption. This drying is a well-established technology in the food industry and has already demonstrated that the processing time can significantly be reduced without affecting the product quality.

The RheaVita continuous freeze-drying technology starts with spin-freezing step which results in a uniform spreading of the liquid formulation over the entire vial surface. This freezing approach drastically shortens the drying time because of the increase in sublimation rate.