Drug Delivery Insights: Injectable Drugs

A roundup of the latest developments for drug delivery of parenteral drugs.
Sep 05, 2012

Innovation in parenteral drug delivery often comes from the device itself to enable ease of use and greater patient compliance. Several recent developments in parenteral drug delivery involve thin-wall needles for prefilled syringes, an auto-injector with audio and visual functionality, and an improved self-injection system.

Prefilled syringes
In late July, BD Medical, a segment of BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company), launched the BD Hyflow needle, a 27-gauge thin-wall needle designed for use with BD’s prefillable syringe systems. The optimized inner diameter of the BD Hyflow needle enables injection of highly viscous drug formulations without the use of a larger needle that could be more painful for the patient, according to the company.

The BD Hyflow needle increases flow to facilitate use with auto-injectors and infusors. The new needle technology also reduces the pressure required to inject, a crucial attribute for patients with dexterity limitations and facilitates patient use and compliance. The needle technology represents an alternative to larger needle-gauge systems. BD says the product is one of several the company plans to launch over the next 18 months to enhance the performance of prefilled-syringe systems.

Auto-injector with audio and visual functionality Sanofi reported last month of FDA approval for its Auvi-Q (epinephrine injection, USP) for the emergency treatment of allergic reactions in people at risk for or having a history of anaphylaxis. Auvi-Q is a compact epinephrine auto-injector with audio and visual cues that guide patients and caregivers step- by-step through the injection process. Sanofi US licensed the North American commercialization rights to Auvi-Q from Intelliject, which has retained commercialization rights for the rest of the world.

Auvi-Q provides users with audible and visual cues, including a five-second-injection countdown and an alert light to signal when the injection is complete. In addition to being an auto-injector, Auvi-Q features an automatic retractable needle mechanism to help prevent accidental needle sticks. During a reaction, Auvi-Q talks the user through each step of the injection process. If the patient or caregiver needs more time, it repeats the step-by-step directions. Alternatively, a patient or caregiver can move at his/her own pace by following the written instructions printed on the device, according to Sanofi.

The product is available in two different dosages. Auvi-Q 0.3 mg delivers a 0.3-mg epinephrine injection, and Auvi-Q 0.15 mg delivers a 0.15-mg epinephrine. Each Auvi-Q pack contains two devices containing one dose of epinephrine each and a non-active training device.

Self-injection systems
In other news, West will collaborate with Janssen Biotech on the development and manufacturing of a self-injection product. The technology, developed by Janssen Biotech, has been specifically designed to meet the needs of patients by facilitating easier self-injection of pharmaceutical and biologic drug products. West will market the new injection technology under the name SelfDose. West will be responsible for codeveloping and handling the commercial scale-up and manufacture of the product and will have the ability to offer the SelfDose injection technology as part of its portfolio of self-injection technology platforms. The SelfDose injection technology complements West's ConfiDose and SmartDose injection technologies.