PharmaJet and Netherlands Vaccine Institute (NVI) Partner for Needle-Free Intra-Dermal Delivery of Polio Vaccine

April 6, 2010

SAN FRANCISCO, April 6 /PRNewswire/ — The Netherlands Vaccine Institute (NVI) and PharmaJet, Inc. have entered into a collaboration aimed at helping speed the eradication of polio. The parties have been working together to evaluate PharmaJet’s intra-dermal needle-free delivery technology with NVI’s Salk inactivated polio vaccine (IPV). The collaboration aims to demonstrate that the immune response from a fractional dose of 0.1 ml vaccine delivered needle-free into the intra-dermal region of the skin is equivalent to the standard dose of 0.5 ml vaccine delivered with a needle and syringe into the muscle.

“Eradication of Polio is a major global health goal for governments around the world, the WHO and NGOs such as Rotary International and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,” said Lucas Elting, Chief Executive Officer of the Netherlands Vaccine Institute. “NVI has been at the forefront of innovation in development, manufacturing and/or supplying Salk and Sabin IPV vaccines worldwide. Our capability will play a major role in preventing the reemergence of polio, and as a public Dutch institution we are committed to adding polio to the list of eradicated infectious diseases.”

Based on WHO guidance that has been substantially adopted throughout the world, there is a migration from the use of oral polio vaccine (OPV) delivered by drops, to IPV that is injected into the body. IPV is more effective against re-emergent strains of the virus. For full eradication, IPV must be universally adopted. In countries where the disease is still prevalent e.g., in regions of India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria, the hurdles to implementing the Salk and Sabin IPV strategy are still considerable.

“The cost of scale up, manufacturing and logistics of supplying and administering injected polio vaccine are high, however it can be reduced substantially if instead of the traditional 0.5 ml intra-muscular injection we can switch to 0.1 ml injected intra-dermally,” said Rajen Dalal, PharmaJet’s CEO and President. “PharmaJet’s intra-dermal injection technology can reduce the cost. At the same time, the needle-free device can be used by the large network of hundreds of thousands of community healthcare workers who deliver OPV drops door to door, without having to retrain them to inject IPV with needles and syringes. Needle-free will also eliminate the risk of needle stick injuries and reuse of spent sharps, which cause the spread of blood borne diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis.”

Polio News reported that major funding had been announced last year to boost the polio eradication effort. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary International, and the British and German governments have committed more than US$630 million in funding to stop polio. On January 21, 2009 the Gates Foundation announced it was awarding a $255 million challenge grant to Rotary, which Rotary will match with $100 million from its members over the next three years. In addition, the United Kingdom and Germany are committing $150 million and $130 million, respectively, over the next five years.

The demand for IPV could be high as 400 million doses per annum, for decades until the disease is fully eradicated. The WHO has conducted three human clinical trials to date, to optimize fractional dose, intra-dermal delivery of IPV. Additional studies are planned to start this year.

About the Netherlands Vaccine Institute (NVI) and IPV

NVI is a governmental organization with the primary task to make state of the art vaccines available for the Dutch National Immunization Program. However, it has an extensive research and development program for vaccines, including production and control of vaccines for human use. NVI is the owner of proprietary polio (Salk IPV) strains and is a manufacturer of IPV vaccine, which it sells, and provides related technology transfer to various customers, particularly developing country manufacturers in Asia. NVI is involved in a WHO sponsored project, part of the Eradication Initiative, and is establishing a Sabin IPV production process on a pilot scale to transfer such technology to developing countries in order to enable them to produce a vaccine against polio in their own country. www.nvi-vaccin.nl

About PharmaJet, Inc. and Needle-Free Injections

PharmaJet, Inc. is a privately held company located in Denver, Colorado; San Francisco, California and Baltimore, Maryland. It develops, manufactures and markets vaccine and drug delivery products based on its proprietary needle-free jet injection technology.

Jet injectors can deliver vaccines intra-dermally. For some vaccines, intra-dermal delivery has the potential to reduce the amount of vaccine required, leading to cost savings and expanded coverage for vaccines in limited supply. Although previous generations of jet injectors delivered billions of doses of vaccines over the last 60 years, newer devices, like PharmaJet’s system, are more appropriate for the developing world because of their usability, affordability of materials, and improved safety features.

Needle-free jet injection also has the potential to improve safety by eliminating needles from the process of administering vaccines. Jet injectors create a fine stream of pressurized liquid that penetrates the skin, delivering doses of medications and vaccines while reducing the burden of hazardous waste management. The potential benefits of jet injectors include more consistent delivery, reduced vaccine wastage, elimination of the need to transport large volumes of sharps, and reduction of the risk of needle sticks and of the costs associated with sharps waste. www.pharmajet.com

SOURCE PharmaJet, Inc.

Source: newswire

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