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Sanofi Pasteur and BD Team Up to Produce Microneedle Vaccines
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines business unit of Sanofi-Aventis (Lyon, France, en.sanofi-aventis.com), will collaborate with BD (Franklin Lakes, NJ, www.bd.com) to develop microneedle vaccines with BD’s patented “Micro-Delivery System.”
Microneedles have generated much excitement among drug delivery experts as a painless, effective way to deliver vaccines and injectable drugs to patients. Because the needles are micro-sized (in the 100–1000 µm range), they are small enough to deliver macromolecules without reaching the nerves that cause pain. And, because the microneedles target the top capillary-rich layers of the skin, researchers anticipate that the vaccines will be adsorbed into the blood quickly and induce a better immune response than traditional vaccines.
At present, BD and Sanofi Pasteur are in human clinical trials with a micro-delivered influenza vaccine and will continue to test the delivery system on other vaccines. Microneedles will be prefilled with vaccine for easy administration. Said Alexandre Conroy, president of BD’s Medical–Pharmaceutical Systems, in an official release, “In practical terms, the BD Micro-Delivery System has the potential to increase a patient’s acceptance as well as enable vaccination of more people with less vaccine.”