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Nanopatch Delivers Vaccines to Immunological Cells in Skin

Patch could reduce vaccine dose or increase efficacy, company says (Oct. 9)

Vaxxas, a biotechnology company based in Cambridge, Mass., announced on October 9 that it has initiated a research collaboration with Merck to evaluate Vaxxas' proprietary Nanopatch platform, which induces immune-system activation by targeting vaccines to immunological cells located immediately below the surface of the skin.

Under the agreement, Merck will pay an upfront fee and will provide funding to Vaxxas to conduct research evaluating the potential of using the Nanopatch platform for a Merck vaccine candidate.

The Nanopatch consists of a 1-cm2 square of silicon with approximately 20,000 vaccine-coated microprojections that perforate into the outer layers of the skin when applied with an applicator device. The tips of the microprojections release vaccine directly to immune cells below the skin surface. The result, demonstrated in a mouse model, is an increase in immunogenicity, which can serve two purposes: 1) reducing the dose required to achieve efficacy (a 100-fold reduction was achieved in the mouse model when delivering Fluvax), or 2) amplifying the efficacy of a vaccine.

Pre-clinical experiments have also shown that use of the Nanopatch obviates the need for an adjuvant or significantly reduces the amount of adjuvant required for effective vaccination.

For more information, visit the Vaxxas Web site.

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