BioPharma

Biotech engineer: Nanopatch vaccines could replace the camel fridge

In his TEDGlobal talk in Edinburgh, Scotland last summer, Mark Kendell listed four ways that a new delivery method could change the game for vaccines. His nanopatch uses microneedles instead of a syringe to deliver the treatment. Solving the “fear of needles” problem is a big deal but breaking the “cold chain” is a bigger […]

In his TEDGlobal talk in Edinburgh, Scotland last summer, Mark Kendell listed four ways that a new delivery method could change the game for vaccines. His nanopatch uses microneedles instead of a syringe to deliver the treatment. Solving the “fear of needles” problem is a big deal but breaking the “cold chain” is a bigger one.
Because the vaccine in a nanopatch is dry, it doesn’t have to be refrigerated. That significant change puts the “camel fridge” out of business. Kendall said that tests in his lab have shown that vaccine doses on a nanopatch can be stored for over a year at 23 degrees Celsius or 73.4 Fahrenheit.

The patch has the potential to make vaccines much cheaper by reducing the dose size. It takes a very high dose with a needle to break the effectiveness barrier. In this example, Kendall’s study of the flu vaccine showed that it takes a 6000 nanogram dose given with a needle to match the effectiveness of a 540 nanogram dose given via a nanopatch.

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“This could get a vaccine that is $10 down to 10 cents,” he said.

Kendall is the CTO of Vaxxas. He has more than 14 years of experience in the field of needle-free gene and drug delivery to skin with micro nanostructures. He also has been an inventor on more than 90 patents and has worked closely with industrial partners in technology transfer from concept to commercialization.