Top Sector Life Sciences & Health (LSH) entails a broad scope of disciplines, from pharmaceuticals to medical technology and from healthcare infrastructure to vaccination. To realise its mission – vital citizens in a healthy economy - the Top Sector builds on the strengths of the Dutch LSH sector to address the biggest societal challenges in prevention, cure and care. By funding multidisciplinary public-private partnerships (PPPs) the Top Sector aims to facilitate innovation. Here we give an overview of  a number of funded R&D projects by Top Sector LSH. The page is updated continuously.

Pain free vaccination using microneedles

Development of a microneedle-based intradermal vaccine delivery device.

Within the DermalDose project, M-Des B.V and Intravacc collaborate to develop a novel, microneedle-based vaccine delivery system. The expertise of M-Des B.V on device development is combined with Intravacc’s knowledge on vaccine development, creating a solid basis for the development of the microneedle-based vaccine delivery system.

Currently, vaccines are mostly administered through intramuscular or subcutaneous injection by needle and syringe. The use of needles however may cause fear in patients, especially in children, which can lead to non-compliance in immunization schedules. In addition, vaccination by needle and syringe requires trained personnel, which is not always readily available in developing countries. Moreover, needle waste can be hazardous and may lead to needle-stick injuries or even transmission of infectious diseases like hepatitis or HIV. To overcome these issues, an alternative vaccine delivery system is necessary. Microneedles may be the perfect alternative to the conventional needle syringes.

In the project, the microneedle device will be further developed mechanically to inject vaccines reliably and consistent. After this, the microneedles will be tested in excised human skin to assess whether the device correctly injects at the intended skin depth. Next, a vaccination study will be performed in an animal model, to assess if a vaccine delivered by the microneedle device actually can induce the intended immune responses. Finally, the safety and tolerability of the microneedle device will be tested in several human volunteers.

The project is divided into four deliverables: 1) Preclinical study design and animal model selection; 2) Human skin studies; 3) Vaccination study in animals and 4) Clinical study on safety and tolerability of the microneedle device.

For more information, please visit the website of Intravacc or DermalDose.