Optimized vaccine protection
The World Health Organization (WHO) as well as non-governmental organizations and private groups see great potential in microneedle-array patches for simplified vaccination campaigns. The application requires neither medical professionals nor a continuous cold chain, making it a promising option especially for developing countries. On the other hand, they can also be used to administer upmarket medication such as remedies for migraine.
According to latest studies, in comparison with the usual deeper application the injection of a vaccine into the upper dermal layer leads to a stronger immune response, and therefore to an improved immunization protection. This is where Microneedle patches come in: They apply lower doses of vaccine more targeted, and more effectively. The Nanopatch™ from VAXXAS, a one-centimeter polymer square, features several thousand micro projections merely 0.25 millimeters in height. Coated with vaccines, they apply the drug directly into the subcutaneous layers which are rich in immune cells.
Patented coating process
The start-up company VAXXAS, a spin-off company of the Australian Institute of Bioengineering & Nanotechnology at the University of Queensland, specializes in new administration forms for vaccines. On the basis of ideas and processes gained from laboratory studies, a reliable high-volume series production is being developed in close cooperation with Harro Höfliger.
VAXXAS have the vaccine coating process of the microneedles patented. The next major challenge is to make Nanopatch™ technology ready for a cost-effective, automated large-scale production. The particular difficulties lie in the high-precision coating of the needles with vaccine, followed by the drying process and the sealing. Micro- and nanotechnology might become the future standard, and the close cooperation between VAXXAS and Harro Höfliger is preparing a breeding ground for it.