COVID-19 Microneedle Vaccine Delivery, to Enhance Efficiency and Reduce Dose In the Works

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Debiotech will be collaborating with vaccine companies, foundations, and public organizations, using its unique DebioJect™ Microneedle, to improve the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines by reducing the necessary dose to achieve a sufficient immune response. The news was announced today.

It is already well documented that the immune response induced by intradermal administration of fifth of an intradermal dose for rabies is equivalent to the full dose given intramuscularly. In the case of the influenza vaccine, the same intradermally injected dose has been shown to elicit a superior immune response in the elderly. These micro-needles, therefore, address two key issues related to the current pandemic: faster access to a larger share population with the same vaccine production capacity and better protection of the most vulnerable part of the population.

A recent publication in the Lancet demonstrated the value of the intradermal approach in the case of COVID-19: microneedles were used to deliver a subunit vaccine in a pre-clinical in-vivo animal trial, inducing the production of specific antibodies within 2 weeks from the injection (EBioMedicine, University of Pittsburgh, April 2nd, 2020).

The success of intradermal injections with conventional methods requires experience and skills. This problem no longer exists with the DebioJect™, which can be used without specific training. The CE marked DebioJect™ Microneedle consist of one short (less than 1mm) hollow microneedle, part of a disposable automatic insertion device. It can infuse up to 0.5 milliliters of a liquid formulation in less than five seconds, just like a conventional injection. The microneedles are manufactured using Micro-Electro-Mechanical System (MEMS) techniques which are capable of producing billions of microneedles on a single fully automatized production line.

“We are eager to actively participate to one of the most important challenges of our times, protecting the population against this COVID-19 pandemic by use of all available technologies, vaccines, and drugs,” says Frédéric Neftel, MD, President of DEBIOTECH SA. “We have been already working for many years on innovative intradermal vaccine delivery systems, which could be one way to increase the efficiency of future vaccines while making it available to more patients with the same dose amount.”

“DebioJect™ has already been successfully used on humans in multiple studies and can be produced at a very high scale, thanks to a unique MEMS production process we have been working on for over 10 years,” says Laurent-Dominique Piveteau, Ph.D., MBA INSEAD, CEO of DEBIOTECH. “Our entire team of over 50 Ph.D.’s, engineers and technicians are ready to move into this exciting task to deliver a potentially novel and more efficient vaccine technology to everyone.”

Note: Debiotech is currently offering to collaborate with every company, foundation or organization active in the COVID-19 vaccine testing.

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