Viral vectors, which use modified viruses as vehicles to access genetic and cellular material, are one of the most commonly deployed tools in the search for a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.
But COVID-19 didn't put viral vector research on the map. Scientists had been increasingly using viral vectors in therapeutic research well before the coronavirus pandemic, as their use in gene therapy and cell therapy has proven promising. Now, those same applications are being repurposed to develop a coronavirus vaccine.
However promising they might be, viral vector workflows come with inherent challenges in scale and process. Fortunately, technology is evolving rapidly, and new solutions to simplify viral vector bioprocessing are continuing to emerge.