Development of the needle-free vaccine would provide a more convenient option for travellers and citizens of regions where dengue is endemic. Furthermore, the product would eliminate hazards and costs associated with disposal of needle waste.
To drive development the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) has awarded a five-year, $15.5m contract to Inviragen and PharmaJet. Having secured the contract Inviragen and PharmaJet will combine their respective capabilities in vaccines and delivery.
PharmaJet will apply its needle-free system to delivery of DENVax, a tetravalent dengue vaccine developed by Inviragen. The NIAID contract covers preclinical, regulatory filings, manufacturing and clinical testing of the needle-free dengue vaccine.
Preliminary animal model studies using PharmaJet’s injector to deliver DENVax intradermally have shown the combination is safe and induces neutralising antibodies to all four dengue serotypes, said Jorge Osorio, chief scientific officer at Inviragen.
Successful development of the technology will create a needle-free device capable of inducing a neutralising antibody response after one or two doses. Other dengue vaccines can require multiple injections with intervals between each dose.
Administration of the dengue vaccine will use the PharmaJet injector. This delivers liquid medications by using a spring to create a high-speed jet capable of penetrating the skin.
PharmaJet says the device can perform thousands of injections using single-use disposable syringe. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared the device for intramuscular and subcutaneous delivery.