A Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) has been signed between PharmaJet, Inc. and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) to utilize the PharmaJet needle-free jet injection delivery technology in conjunction with USAMRIID’s candidate gene-based smallpox vaccine.
Patented under the name 4pox, the USAMRIID vaccine consists of a combination of genes that, when delivered together, provides protection from orthopoxviruses (e.g., vaccinia virus, monkeypox virus) in animal models. Under the guidance of USAMRIID’s Dr. Jay Hooper, immune responses to four different co-delivered immunogens will be evaluated using the PharmaJet needle-free system for intradermal delivery and compared with existing data produced with both PharmaJet and alternative devices.
“PharmaJet is very pleased to continue to work with USAMRIID,” said Linda McAllister, acting CEO for PharmaJet. “We are very excited about the potential for our needle-free, jet injection, intradermal technology to contribute to the efficacy of this important new class of DNA-based vaccines.”
The gene-based molecular vaccine field continually searches for safe, effective and practical delivery technologies, as well as adjuvant technologies. The 4pox gene-based vaccine has already been evaluated in preclinical models using skin and muscle electroporation and gene gun technology, among other means of delivery. The use of PharmaJet needle-free technology to deliver other DNA vaccines of military importance may be evaluated and added under addendums to this agreement.
About PharmaJet, Inc. and Needle-free Injections
PharmaJet’s needle-free technology (pharmajet.com) delivers vaccines to intramuscular, subcutaneous, and intradermal tissue depths. “Jet” injectors use pressure to create a fine stream of 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. For some vaccines, intradermal delivery has the potential to reduce the amount of vaccine required, in some cases by as much as 80%, leading to cost savings and expanded coverage for vaccines in limited supply.
Previous generations of jet injectors delivered billions of doses of vaccines over the last 60 years, but the multiple-use nozzles enabled cross-contamination between patients. Newer devices, such as the PharmaJet system, have been well received in the developed world, but are also extremely advantageous in the developing world because of their usability, affordability, and improved safety features (by design, PharmaJet’s “needle-free” syringe cannot be reused). Needle-free jet injection also has the potential to improve safety by eliminating needles from the process of administering vaccines, and eliminating sharps (used metal needles) from the environment.
USAMRIID (usamriid.army.mil), located at Fort Detrick, Maryland, is the lead medical research laboratory for the U.S. Department of Defense's Biological Defense Research Program, and plays a key role in national defense and in infectious disease research. The Institute conducts basic and applied research on biological threats resulting in medical solutions (such as vaccines, drugs and diagnostics) to protect the warfighter. While USAMRIID’s primary mission is focused on the military, its research often has applications that benefit society as a whole. USAMRIID is a subordinate laboratory of the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command.
[The information contained in this press release does not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the Government and no official endorsement should be inferred.]