Researchers at University College Cork in Ireland have developed a patch that delivers small doses of a vaccine through microscopic needles
A new malaria vaccine administered through a micro-needle patch has been developed by scientists at the school of pharmacy at the University College Cork in Ireland.
The patch itself is composed of microscopic silicon needles which deliver the vaccine painlessly through pores in the skin.
The vaccine is delivered via a live adenovirus vector, and delivers a crucial protein found in the malaria causing parasite, which elicits an immune response. The use of adenoviruses as vectors for drug delivery can at times be risky, as they can themselves elicit an immune response, so they can’t be used consistently for vaccine delivery, because the body’s immune system can completely block them from cell entry.
The patch vaccine has already undergone extensive pre-clinical studies, the results of which been encouraging. Dr. Anne Moore, the lead researcher for this new technology, has said that pre-clinical studies have shown that “the microneedle patch did not induce this strong anti-adenovirus immunity, even though very potent immunity to the malaria antigen is generated.”
The next step will be to move the patch through to phase I clinical trials, which require significant funding. To secure this, Dr. Anne Moore is set to travel to Silicon Valley next week to present the new technology and discuss funding prospects with venture capitalists and tech companies.
Read more about it here: UCC scientists developing patch to fight malaria