The demand for plasmid DNA (pDNA) has vastly increased over the past decade in response to significant advances that have been made in its application for gene therapy and vaccine development. Plasmid DNA-based vaccines are experiencing a resurgence due to success with prime-boost immunization strategies. The challenge has always been poor productivity and delivery of pDNA. Plasmid DNA-based vaccines have traditionally required milligram scale of GMP-grade product for vaccination due to the relatively low efficacy and duration of gene expression. However, efforts to increase pDNA vaccine effectiveness are evolving in genetic manipulations of bacterial host, improvements in product recovery and innovative delivery methods. This review summarizes recent advances in large-scale pDNA vaccine manufacturing, ranging from upstream processing, downstream processing and formulation, as such information is usually not available to the scientific community. The article will highlight technology gaps and offer insight on further scope of innovation.
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