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Needle-Free Delivery Devices Shape the Future of Vaccines, Says Frost & Sullivan

publication date: Sep 26, 2014
 | 
author/source: Frost & Sullivan

Emerging technologies will include ‘smaller than a fingernail’ nanopatch vaccines.

frost and sulliavnDrug delivery technologies that improve access and overall efficacy are becoming an essential part of the entire drug development process. Pharmaceutical companies are particularly investing billions of dollars in new vaccine delivery technologies in a bid to move away from needles and syringes to skin delivery procedures. 

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, Needle-Free Nanopatch Vaccines, finds that though the needle-free delivery sector currently makes up a small fraction of the total drug delivery market, the next five to ten years will see transdermal and intradermal systems (patches and degradable implants), fast-dissolving tablet vaccines, inhalers, and pulmonary delivery methods change the vaccine industry. 

While certain forms of needle-free vaccines, such as liquid jet injection, gene guns and micro-needles are already in use, the cell damage caused during administration and the inability to consistently and directly deliver vaccines renders such delivery methods inefficient. Nevertheless, this inefficiency opens doors for vaccine manufacturers to create and commercialise a needle-free system that is not fraught with challenges. 

“The delivery of drugs through needle-free devices is gaining acceptance owing to the availability of more formulations for needle-free deliveries,” saidFrost & Sullivan Healthcare Research Analyst Swathi Allada. “Significant advancements have been made, most of which have centred on addressing patient comfort levels and increasing the adoption of self-injectable therapies.” 

The development of thermostable vaccines with a long shelf life is another area of focus for many vaccine manufacturers, especially for those marketing to nations where cold-chain storage is an issue. The nanopatch, for instance, eliminates the need for refrigeration as the thermostable vaccine is formulated in dry form, making transportation significantly cheaper than traditional needles. 

The nanopatch is a micro-needle patch comprising of little, densely packed micro-projections with a defined geometry. Smaller than a postage stamp – and getting smaller – it is capable of directly depositing vaccine to thousands of skin immune cells without causing damage to the cell membrane in the process. 

“The nanopatch achieves precise, controlled and consistent skin penetration along with rapid dissolution and diffusion of the vaccine,” noted Allada. “Early stage tests conducted on mouse models have shown that the nanopatch-delivered flu vaccine is effective even with 1/150th of the dose normally given through a traditional syringe.” 

With successful testing in animals, clinical trials on humans will need to be wrapped up to attain Food and Drug Administration approval. Once this happens, the technology will rapidly gain traction both among patients and physicians, ultimately changing the course of vaccine delivery globally. 

This Market Insight, Needle-Free Nanopatch Vaccines, is part of the Advanced Medical Technologies Growth Partnership Service program. The Insight covers a range of needle-free vaccine deliveries, discussing drivers for adoption and application scope. The study also details the development and potential of the nanopatch as well as its impact on the vaccine industry. 


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