A new manufacturing project aims to replace the needle and syringe for vaccinations.

Medical tech firm Vaxxas, the University of Sydney and the Innovative Manufacturing Cooperative Research Centre (IMCRC) have come together to work on end-user usability, manufacturability, patient acceptability and supply chain logistics of the new technology.

Vaxxas' Micro-projection Array Patch (MAP) technology targets immunological cells below the surface of the skin. The Vaxxas MAP is applied to the skin using a disposable applicator, containing and protecting the product and ensuring repeatable delivery into the skin.

Data from preclinical studies suggests the device will not only enhance the immune response generated by a vaccine compared to traditional delivery methods but potentially do this at a fraction of a full vaccine dose.

Contrary to conventional vaccines, the new vaccines tested by Vaxxas to date do not need to be refrigerated, reducing costs and alleviating transportation issues, particularly to parts of the world where cold chain infrastructure is unreliable.

The new vaccination device also eliminates the risk of needle stick injuries. In addition, it will reduce the burden on patients suffering from needle-phobia.

Researchers are preparing to undertake usability and acceptability studies including an in-clinic assessment and a logistic impact/disruption assessment.

“We are at an important stage of the product development process. However, before investing in manufacturing the applicator at pilot scale, we want to be confident that the device satisfies design, end-user and logistical requirements for its intended markets,” says Charles Ross, Head of Clinical Operations at Vaxxas.