Park Products: aVaxziPen
Published on 28 July 2023
We spoke to innovative biotech company, aVaxziPen, about its mission to transform the vaccine market through its thermostable formulation and needle-free technology.
Since 2017, aVaxziPenTM, formally Ensei Pharma, has been developing technology to create a next-generation vaccination platform, targeting infectious diseases and emergent threat pathogens. It hopes to revolutionise the vaccine market by making distribution and deployment easier, faster and safer.
At present, nearly all commercially available vaccines are in liquid or suspension form, which means they require varying degrees of cold chain storage and handling, ranging from -80 oC to 2-5 oC.
This is a major logistical challenge in communities globally where healthcare infrastructure is limited and the cold chain cannot be upheld. The impact of which results in vaccine wastage and lack of effective protection for those who need it most.
aVaxziPen’s novel formulation technology is designed to improve the thermostability and ability to provoke an immune system response (immunogenicity) of existing liquid vaccines. This means its solid dose vaccine (just 0.89mm in diameter) can withstand higher temperatures and potentially requires less vaccine antigen to deliver the same immune protection.
These advantages are important, both in terms of improving the cost-effectiveness of vaccination as well as reducing or eliminating the need for refrigerated or frozen storage, enabling easier distribution and faster deployment, thereby increasing the accessibility of vaccines worldwide.
aVaxziPen’s unique delivery platform is designed to reduce the burden of administration with a multi-use pen applicator that’s coupled with a disposable, single dose cartridge containing a single solid dose vaccine.
The delivery platform has many potential advantages over conventional needle and syringe vaccine delivery systems. As well as removing the needle and needle-related vaccine hesitancy, it also offers:
- Removal of needlestick injury risk to healthcare professionals
- Removal of cross-infection risk associated with multi dose vials
- Reducing the potential for vaccine wastage
The aVaxziPen multi-use pen can be used for up to 1,000 vaccine deliveries and delivers the solid dose vaccine into the skin with minimal sensation – ‘click and deliver’. – by simply pressing the pen onto the patient’s upper arm. The solid dose is rapidly dissolved in under an hour, presenting the vaccine antigen to the bodies immune system for effective protection against a range of pathogens.
The system is designed to be simple to use, requiring minimal training and suited to rapid deployment in all healthcare settings.
CEPI Award – Improving the thermostability of vaccines
aVaxziPen was recently awarded an important contract by CEPI (the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) to formulate two vaccine candidates, one mRNA and one protein-based with a view to improving the thermostability of vaccines for the benefit of Low and Middle Income Countries (LMICs).
CEPI’s mission is to create a world in which epidemics and pandemics are no longer a threat to humanity and enable equitable access to vaccines, particularly in LMICs, when outbreaks or pandemic threats emerge.
Supported by CEPI’s $1.6m of initial funding, the partnership aims to establish a proof-of-concept for the two vaccine candidates – showcasing extended thermal stability up to 40oC, as well as maintaining improved immunogenicity over a period of three months.
If successful, the vaccines will then be formulated into solid doses with a view to progress into Phase 1 clinical trials.
Robin Cohen, Chief Business Officer at aVaxziPen, explains more: “We’re delighted to be working with CEPI as an important strategic partner, to demonstrate the great potential of our vaccine technology. This is a great step forward in our mission to disrupt the vaccine market, providing improved vaccine coverage around the world, reaching under-served populations and markets.”
“Collaboration with the likes of CEPI and others is key to achieving scientific milestones. It’s an ethos we see across Milton Park’s burgeoning life sciences cluster and provides an excellent ecosystem from which we can continue to grow.”
For more information on aVaxziPen and its work, please visit: https://www.avaxzipen.com