Needle - free Vaccines
Nanoparticles are being developed to deliver vaccines through the lungs and nose without the need for syringes – thus reducing the risk of infection and needle-stick injury.
The use of needles to deliver vaccines is associated with a risk of infection (including HIV and hepatitis B & C) and problems regarding waste disposal. Nanoparticles are being investigated in the quest to overcome these issues and enable simple and safe needle-free vaccine delivery.
A number of influenza vaccines has been developed and launched, to varying success, but there remains a significant unmet need to develop ways of delivering other vaccines to the body in a cost-effective and efficacious way.
The Grand Challenges in Global Health initiative is a collection of NGOs that have made needle-free vaccines one of their grand challenges. In June 2005 the GCGH granted two nanoparticle grants
A $6.3m grant went to James Baker at the University of Michigan’s Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences (MNIBS) to develop its technology, NanoStat – a nanoparticle emulsion for delivering vaccines through the nasal mucous membranes.
A $7.6m grant went to David Edwards, HarvardUniversity’s Gordon McKay Professor of Biomedical Engineering in the Division of Engineering and Applied Sciences for the development of nanoparticle aerosols that could deliver vaccines by inhalation, particularly TB.