“Patch instead of injection”… ‘patch-type’ measles vaccine, successful results in clinical trials

ⓒ Daily Post = photo provided / Micron Biomedical

ㅣDaily Post=Reporter Jeongeun Kimㅣ As microneedle (fine needle) technology, one of the transdermal drug delivery systems, develops, vaccines to prevent the onset and epidemic of diseases are developed in the form of sticking to the skin.

As a result of a recent clinical trial of a measles-type vaccine in Gambia, West Africa, a strong immune response was confirmed, attracting attention. The measles vaccine is usually given by injection, but research into patch-type vaccines has been carried out for 20 years.

Measles is a dangerous infectious disease that causes symptoms such as high fever and cough, and in the worst case, death. Vaccination can prevent outbreaks, but it has a strong infectious power that causes almost 100% of outbreaks when non-immune people come into contact with confirmed cases.

Measles is known to prevent epidemics if at least 95% of the population is immunized. However, there are many areas where vaccination is slow in developing countries with weak medical infrastructure, and measles has recently re-emerged in developed countries such as the United States due to the tendency to avoid vaccination . In March 2019, a state of emergency was declared as more than 150 people suffered a cluster outbreak in Rockland County, New York, USA, and people under the age of 18 who were not vaccinated against measles were banned from public places.

The measles-type vaccine developed by biotechnology company Micron Biomedical is a coin-sized piece of plastic that is attached to a child’s wrist and then squeezed to deliver the vaccine through a microneedle in a matter of minutes.

As only the outer layer of the skin without pain receptors provides the active ingredient of the vaccine through the microneedle, the child does not feel pain during the vaccination.

“The patch-type measles vaccine requires no specialized skills to administer,” said Steve Damon, CEO of Micron Biomedical.

Micron Biomedical conducted a clinical trial in collaboration with the Gambia Medical Research Council to determine the efficacy of a patch-type measles vaccine.

In the clinical trial, 45 adults, 120 infants aged 15 to 18 months, and 120 infants aged 9 to 10 months took part in the measles vaccine.

ⓒ Daily Post = photo provided / Micron Biomedical

When the research team evaluated the immune response of the test participants a month and a half after the vaccination, a strong immune response was confirmed for the injection and the patch. In a survey of parents of children who took part in the clinical trial, the majority answered that they did not feel pain after being vaccinated with the vaccine patch, and 90% responded that the patch was better than an injection as a vaccination method.

The results of the clinical trial were announced at the Microneedle Society (Microneedles 2023) held in Seattle, USA for three days from May 15, and according to the company, the paper will soon be published in a medical journal.

ⓒDaily Post = Image courtesy/Micronetles 2023

“This is the first exciting result that shows the potential of the MicroArry Patch (MAP) to deliver a vaccine effectively and safely,” said Dr Ed Clarke of the Gambia Medical Research Council, who co-led the trial.

The patch-type vaccine can be applied not only to measles but also to other infectious diseases such as rabies, tuberculosis, and hepatitis B.

Dr. Gregory Poland, a vaccine specialist at the Mayo Clinic in the United States, said, “This technology has been a dream for a long time. There is no need to worry about body fluids and blood infection routes through the device, and no medical waste such as needles is produced.”

In addition, Birgitte Giersing, head of the World Health Organization (WHO) Product Research and Vaccine Supply Division, said, “Measles vaccines in patch form are easy to transport to areas where medical facilities are scarce or difficult reach them. They need to be weakened. The patch type can be used without clean water and has the advantage of not requiring refrigeration.”

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