Drug manufacturers are seeking out needle-free systems

Many of the novel biopharmaceutical drugs developed now can only be delivered by injection, and this has biologic manufacturers seeking out the most patient-friendly options, including needle-free systems. According to healthcare market research firm Kalorama Information, this trend has helped fuel a $2.7 billon market for pharmaceutical products combined with needle-free technology. In its report "Drug Delivery Markets: Implantable / Injectable and Needle-Free Systems," Kalorama says a recent convergence of synthetic materials and computerized design software will propel the market for such product delivery systems to 9.7% annual growth over the next five years.

"Three fourths of biopharmaceuticals cannot be delivered orally," said Mary Ann Crandall, Kalorama Information's drug delivery analyst. "Using a needle-free injection has been shown to reduce needlestick injuries, increase compliance and eliminate the need for disposal, all advantages that will help sales."

Most needle-free jet injectors use metal springs, compressed air, or CO2 gas to power the injection. The device's nozzle is held against the patient's skin and, once activated, injects a fine stream of the drug into the skin at a high pressure.

In the United States, more than a dozen needle-free jet injectors have been licensed by the Food and Drug Administration and are on the market. The VitaJet, made by Bioject, has long been used by diabetes patients. The Biojector 2000 is a popular system for vaccine delivery, the SeroJet has been used for delivering hormone treatments for HIV-associated wasting, and the PenJet has been used for multiple applications. Product developer Antares Pharma and Teva Pharmaceutical announced recently a new needle-free injector system called Tjet used to administer the growth hormone product Tev-Tropin to children.

"Delivery is considered crucial to the marketing strategy of drugs," Crandall said. "Needle-free has been a part of insulin marketing for some time and now we are also seeing it with vaccines and protein treatments."


Kalorama Information


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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