Devices & Diagnostics

Plastic, prefilled vaccine delivery device looks to replace syringe and vial

Would vaccines be more widely and easily used if they were stored and administered in a cheap device that fits in the palm of the hand and comprises a just few pieces of plastic and a tiny needle? That’s the hope of AktiVax, a small company that’s developing a prefilled, unit-dose injection device for vaccines […]

Would vaccines be more widely and easily used if they were stored and administered in a cheap device that fits in the palm of the hand and comprises a just few pieces of plastic and a tiny needle?

That’s the hope of AktiVax, a small company that’s developing a prefilled, unit-dose injection device for vaccines and other frequently used medications that it says addresses significant problems, costs and complexities with the traditional vial and syringe solution.

The device requires four single-handed steps to deploy. Designed for freeze-dried vaccines, it stores the powder and the dilution liquid in a multicompartment pouch. Pressing one of the compartments mixes them prior to administration. (See how the device looks here.)

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A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

According to a 2011 article in the Aurora Sentinel, the company hopes to have this and some of its other drug delivery products market ready sometime this year, but an inquiry sent to the company requesting more details was not returned.

AktiVax is currently looking to raise $300,000, according to a recent U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

With expanding worldwide use of biological drugs and vaccines, the market for such prefilled syringe devices is expected to expand steadily until 2021, according to visiongain. Single-dose, disposable injection devices are already approved for self-injection of drugs that treat diabetes, arthritis and anemia, and they’re also approved for the influenza vaccine. BD’s Uniject system takes a similar approach to AktiVax, except the latter’s device is designed to be used with vaccines that require reconstitution, which could be a good selling point.

AktiVax was formed in 2008 in Aurora, Colorado.  Existing investors include High Country Ventures.