Following the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of a swine flu pandemic, NanoPass Technologies Ltd. (NanoPass) announced today that it has successfully developed a microneedle-based injection device that could dramatically enhance both the effectiveness and supply of pandemic flu vaccines.
"As declared by WHO on June 11th, 2009", said Dr Yotam Levin, the Company's CEO, "the novel A H1N1 influenza has become a phase 6 global pandemic. There is an imminent need of developing countries, as well as that of many developed countries, for an adequate supply of pandemic flu vaccines. Since global capacity is limited and production yield is reported to be low, novel approaches for vaccine enhancement are of great need." Dr Ofer Sharon, the Company's Medical Director added, "NanoPass has proven in a randomized clinical trial, recently published in Vaccine, that it can reduce the dose of a seasonal flu vaccine by 80% while preserving its efficacy. This effect is thought to be achieved by targeting the potent specialized immune cells that reside in the skin. This means that health authorities can use the same amount of vaccine they have sourced, to vaccinate at least double, if not triple, the number of subjects, with the same vaccine purchase." NanoPass is designing clinical studies to demonstrate this significant effect for swine H1N1.
The major global public threat posed by the new H1N1 flu strain demands close coordination among vaccine manufacturers, governments, technology developers and global health authorities to manage the supply of vaccines and to ensure there are enough doses for everyone.
MicronJet is a microneedle-based device for intradermal delivery of vaccines. The device allows for consistent, reliable, and simple delivery of the vaccine directly into the skin. It has been shown in multiple clinical trials, that injecting a seasonal influenza vaccine directly into the skin harnesses this very potent immune organ, and allows for both the reduction of the dose required for the same immune response ("dose sparing"), as well as the ability to actually potentiate this response, with the use of equivalent doses ("increased immunogenicity").
This approach is being tested for a variety of major diseases that do not yet have an effective vaccine, such as malaria, HIV and tuberculosis.