After consulting with a number of vaccine manufacturers globally who have been using Embrex equipment for several years, Shenzhen Neptunus decided that the Egg Remover and Inovoject systems were ideal for its manufacturing facility at High-Tech Industrial Park Guangming, Shenzhen, which has recently completed construction.
The high speed automated Egg Remover system identifies and removes, to a high degree of accuracy, infertile eggs and "early dead" embryos on days 9 to 11 of incubation.
The viable eggs then proceed for inoculation with the influenza virus using the Inovoject system which injects eggs at a rate of approximately 30,000 eggs per hour.
The Inovoject system has quality and process attributes which Embrex claims have made it a vital part of meeting the critical technical and regulatory needs of human flu vaccine producers in many countries, including a proprietary sanitation system which cleans needles after injection of every egg, thus minimizing cross-contamination between eggs.
"We are delighted to be working with SNI who clearly have a dedication to producing high quality vaccines and so wish to use the most advanced technology in all parts of their production process," said David Baines, vice president of global sales & marketing for Embrex.
"This new installation in China is an example of the demands for equipment that we are seeing from many countries due to increasing egg-based flu vaccine production capacity to satisfy demands for both seasonal and pandemic flu vaccines."
There is a surging demand for a widely available flu vaccine that is cheap to manufacture as governments worldwide prepare for a potential bird flu pandemic.
However, current egg-derived vaccines production requires several months of logistics for ordering and receiving eggs, so speed is of the essence for Shenzhen Neptunus.
The Chinese biotech firm believes Embrex' injection system, which eliminates the need for traditional manual post-hatch injection of chicks, will give it an advantage in the country's domestic market.
It is a controlled, sanitary, less labour-intensive system that delivers nearly 100 per cent inoculation rates, stimulates an immune response earlier, and minimises stress to the birds.
In addition, the benefits of removing what are often referred to as "clear eggs" contribute to more chicks of better quality at lower costs to the producer.
Embrex will also provide regular service of the equipment, a vital consideration according to Shenzhen Neptunus.