Oral delivery system could make vaccinations needle-free

Photo: UC Berkeley

Patients could one day self-administer vaccines using a needleless, pill-sized technology that jet-releases a stream of vaccine inside the mouth, according to a proof-of-concept study conducted at UC Berkeley.

The study did not test vaccine delivery in people, but demonstrated that the technology, called MucoJet, is capable of delivering vaccine-sized molecules to immune cells in the mouths of animals. The technology is a step toward improved oral vaccine delivery, which holds the promise of building immunity in the mouth’s buccal region of cells, where many infections enter the body. When patients hold the MucoJet against the inside of their cheek, the device releases a jet stream that directly targets the buccal region. This region is rich in immune cells but underutilized in immunology because of the challenge of efficiently penetrating the thick mucosal layer in this part of the oral cavity with existing technologies, such as the oral spray often used for influenza vaccination.

In laboratory and animal experiments, the research team showed that the MucoJet can deliver a high-pressure stream of liquid and immune system-triggering molecules that penetrate the mucosal layer to stimulate an immune response in the buccal region. The jet is pressurized, but not uncomfortably so, and would remove the sting of needles.

“The jet is similar in pressure to a water pick that dentists use,” said Kiana Aran, who developed the technology while a postdoctoral scholar at Berkeley in the labs of Dorian Liepmann, a professor of mechanical and bioengineering, and Niren Murthy, a professor of bioengineering. Aran is now an assistant professor at the Keck Graduate Institute of Claremont University.

The portable technology, designed to be self-administered, stores vaccines in powder form and could one day enable vaccine delivery to remote locations, but years of further study are needed before the device would be commercially available.

Source: UC Berkeley

Delivering Vaccines Via Drones

Drone to deliver vaccines
Picture: Johns Hopkins University

Vaccines have come a long way scientifically, technologically and economically. But in one crucial aspect—distribution—they are still lagging behind.

“Many existing vaccine supply chains in low- and middle-income countries were established in the late 1970s and ’80s and have since remained relatively unchanged even though populations, diseases, and vaccines have changed substantially,” says Bruce Y. Lee, MD, MBA, director of operations research at the International Vaccine Access Center at the Bloomberg School.

It’s long been a challenge to distribute vaccines over great distances in treacherous conditions. Now, thanks to technological improvements, unmanned drones have been floated as a possible solution. But is this strategy cost-effective?

To find out, Lee and his team used their HERMES computer simulation model to compare the delivery of vaccines through traditional land-based transportation (a combination of trucks, motorbikes and public transit) to that of unmanned drones. The researchers factored in road conditions, availability of refrigeration, weight, space, weather and other conditions in the simulations.

They found that using drones increased vaccine availability, potentially reaching 96 percent of the targeted population, versus 94 percent for land-based transportation.

Drones also delivered a savings of 8 cents per vaccination, translating into a 20 percent cost savings overall.

Lee and the HERMES team pub- lished their findings in Vaccine in June 2016. Next, Lee says, drone manufacturers are conducting larger-scale pilot studies with different countries and conditions. These studies will evaluate drones’ abilities to meet the guidelines laid out by the HERMES model and to provide additional data to update the simulation model.

The potential impact drones can have on vaccination rates is significant, says Lee, an associate professor in International Health. “They could be particularly valuable when there is more demand for certain vaccines than anticipated and immunization locations must place urgent orders.”

Source: Johns Hopkins University

UNFO Med can help infants suffering from MTA

Brückenkopf recently interviewed with Mr. Dr. Izak Daizade M.D – founder and R&D Manager at UNFO Med, who offers innovative device to treat newborns afflicted with congenital foot deformities.

(Q: Question from Brückenkopf GmbH / A: Answer from Mr. Dr. Izak Daizade M.D by UNFO Med)

Q: Mr. Dr. Daizade, could you please explain which sector is your company specialized in?
A: I am the founder of UNFO Med, and I have more than 35 years of experience in pediatric surgery. UNFO Med. Ltd. is a healthcare company specializing in the orthopedic field, we are a manufacturer of the revolutionary Universal Neonatal Foot Orthotics system.

Q: What are the major markets of your company? Only in Israel or also the international market?
A: We work in the international healthcare market. The UNFO Med system has obtained patent in the United States and China and patent pending status in Brazil, Europe, Canada, Australia, India. Our expert team works very hard to develop new and innovative treatments aimed at bringing relief to thousands of suffering infants afflicted with foot conditions and enable them the happy, pain-free life they so deserve.

Q: Do you have R&D capabilities of your company, or do you co-operate with third parties?
A: UNFO Company has his own R&D capability and cooperates with several Orthopedic Centers world- wide.

Q: Dr., What do you see as challenges and opportunities in the market in 2017?
A: We strongly believe in the importance of providing relief to infants and their families, preventing unnecessary pain and suffering, and bringing aid to those who have been labeled as “incurable.” There is currently no specific treatment for metatarsus adductus (MTA), leading to a certain amount of confusion over when and how to treat MTA in infants. The lack of a specific solution for MTA has left orthopedic centers no choice but to adapt the casting technique indicated for club foot.
This casting technique comes with a number of disadvantages and complications. Due to problematic casting procedure in MTA there have been some understatement and compromising attitude about the treatment indications. More and more newborns in the world enjoy the easy treatment of their foot deformity by UNFO, replacing the old problematic technique of serial casting. There is no doubt that most of complications and surgical interventions can be avoided by adequate treatment in the first months of infant life.

Background: UNFO Med company info
UNFO Med Ltd

5th WHO Interregional Seminar for Quality Control Laboratories involved in the WHO Prequalification held in Shenzhen China

On October 25, 2016, The 5th WHO Interregional Seminar for Quality Control Laboratories involved in the WHO Prequalification was held in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China. It is the first time that the WHO seminar on prequalification of quality control laboratories was held in China. During the seminar, more than 60 laboratory directors from 42 countries and representatives from 26 provincial drug testing institutions of China had discussions on drug quality control, drug reference material development, analysis method study, quality control of drug testing laboratories, and exchanged experiences on laboratory management and certification. China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) Vice Minister Sun Xianze, leaders of Shenzhen Municipal Government, relevant directors of the Department of Science, Technology and Standards of CFDA, National Institutes for Food and Drug Control, Guangdong Food and Drug Administration, and Food and Drug Administration of Shenzhen Municipality attended the seminar.

Patients to get faster access to cost effective treatments under proposed changes to NICE process

The proposals announced today, which are part of a joint consultation by NICE and NHS England, would see the introduction of a ‘fast track’ option for appraising technologies which offer exceptional value for money.

This would mean treatments that have a likely cost per QALY (quality adjusted life year) of up to £10,000 would be dealt with more quickly under a ‘lighter touch’ process.

Continue reading “Patients to get faster access to cost effective treatments under proposed changes to NICE process”

Siemens and IBM Watson Forge Global Alliance for Population Health Management

IBM and Siemens Healthineers announced a five-year, global strategic alliance in Population Health Management (PHM). The alliance aims to help hospitals, health systems, integrated delivery networks, and other
providers deliver value-based care to patients with complex, chronic and costly conditions such as heart disease and cancer. The health-focused
alliance is the first of its kind for the companies, which have a long-standing global relationship that spans diverse industry sectors including IBMs work with Siemens Building Technologies, Siemens PLM and Siemens Digital Grid. It also marks Siemens entry into PHM.

IBM Watson Health and Siemens Healthineers logo.

The alliance leverages the expertise and global reach of both companies, including Siemens track record introducing technology-driven innovations to a broad range of providers and IBM’s unique cognitive healthcare offerings. As part of the alliance, Siemens Healthineers will offer PHM solutions and services from IBM Watson Health. These offerings are designed to help meet hospital and healthcare systems’ demands for value-based care analytics and reporting, and patient engagement. Siemens Healthineers will also provide consulting services to support providers in their transition to value-based care.

Source: IBM