Mike G.W. de Leeuw
A new ceramic skin patch is being used as a rapid response to control outbreak situations. It is also helping deliver vaccinations more easily and efficiently.
Mike de Leeuw, CEO of MyLife Technologies, the pharmaceutical company which has created the ceramic skin patch for vaccine delivery says: “With only five grams of mRNA-vaccine, basic field labs can produce up to one million vaccine patches within a few days to protect healthcare workers as a virus outbreak unfolds, anywhere in the world. Today, with standard jabs, that is less than 50,000.”
MyLife Technologies has partners in a clinical trial using an approved mRNA COVID-19 vaccine. It is demonstrating the benefits of their patches with HPV vaccines for low-and-middle-income countries; and it is accelerating scale-up to full-scale manufacturing.
These microneedles are like a ceramic sponge, yet are very strong and can carry, stabilise and quickly release most types of vaccines. They are applied within 30 seconds like any other skin patch.
Alternative vaccine delivery
The ‘patch’ is smaller than a fingertip and features a hundred, minute ceramic microneedles. De Leeuw says: “These microneedles are like a ceramic sponge, yet are very strong and can carry, stabilise and quickly release most types of vaccines. They are applied within 30 seconds like any other skin patch. The microneedle tips never touch a nerve or a blood vessel, making vaccination painless.”
Microneedle patch-technology is listed number one for the future of global vaccination by VIPS, the largest NGO-consortium evaluating vaccine technology. This is because top layers of the skin contain specialised immune cells that process vaccines against viruses and bacteria. Delivering vaccine in the first 150-400 micron of skin is much more efficient than vaccination with jabs into muscle tissue, where these cells are not found normally.
The company has shown efficacy in Influenza-A trials in animals, and it successfully demonstrated safety/tolerability with human volunteers. Various clinical trials with different vaccines have shown that skin vaccination requires 5-20 times less vaccine to achieve equivalent protection compared to standard jabs.
De Leeuw concludes: “We offer our patches for NGO-backed projects to speed-up vaccinations in LMIC’s. Our ceramic patches avoid needle stick anxiety and can eliminate expensive cold chain distribution. Especially with HPV, the cause of many smaller cancer diseases, this can help to raise the vaccination rate in adolescents worldwide.”