Hepatitis C DNA vaccine injector

ChronTech Pharma

Challenge
Find an alternative Hepatitis C DNA vaccine delivery method that does not rely on electroporation and is suitable for use in pre-clinical research studies.

Approach
We investigated the best technique to deliver the drug, looked at how we could safely deliver the vaccine, and helped develop a test programme to fully exploit the technology.

Outcome
The result was a device based on a closely spaced needle configuration using high pressure to efficiently deliver DNA into the muscle.

Our client, ChronTech Pharma, has developed an early prototype for injecting their Hepatitis C DNA vaccine into muscle tissue.

The challenge with DNA vaccines is to get the genetically engineered plasmid through the wall of the cell, to transfect the cell nucleus, and begin creating the therapeutic antibodies.

In vivo intracellular injection needle (IVIN)

One of the leading delivery technologies for DNA vaccines is currently electroporation. This is an approach that utilises high-voltage electricity to create transient pores in the cell walls, allowing the plasmid to reach the cell nucleus. Electroporation is a painful process for the patient and requires the use of complex, expensive equipment and highly trained physicians.

Chrontech’s patent-pending in vivo intracellular injection needle (IVIN) system is based on a closely spaced configuration of needles, which use high-directional pressure to deliver the DNA into the muscle. Injecting the vaccine at high pressure into a tightly controlled area permits the vaccine to transfect the muscle tissue far more efficiently than a conventional hypodermic needle.

ChronTech came to Team to help develop a delivery system for use in pre-clinical research studies and ultimately a Phase I trial.

Our approach

We took their concept and with their input, designed and built a working prototype that offers clinicians a flexible system to use during pre-clinical trials.

We investigated the most promising needle arrangements and techniques for delivering the drug, before looking at ways to drive the injection and deploy the vaccine in a safe, repeatable fashion.

In vivo intracellular injection needle (IVIN)

We identified manufacturing partners who can help us produce the precision-made injection heads in any quantity, from small batch prototypes to mass-manufactured commercial products, and we helped to develop a test programme to allow the technology to be fully exploited.

From our client

“With their considerable background in injections, Team were the perfect partners for us. They really understood what we wanted to achieve and then applied their rigorous and creative engineering skills to overcome the various challenges that we faced together.”

Professor Matti Sällberg
ChronTech Pharma

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