Nanopatch to help WHO battle polio

16 Sep 2014
AIBN's Prof Mark Kendall, Vaxxas Founder and Chief Technology Officer
AIBN's Prof Mark Kendall, Vaxxas Founder and Chief Technology Officer

The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) battle against polio has a new weapon after joining forces with Vaxxas, the biotechnology company responsible for developing revolutionary vaccine delivery method the Nanopatch.

WHO will undertake a research collaboration with Vaxxas, a start-up company that spun out from The University of Queensland

The collaboration will evaluate Nanopatch’s use as a platform for delivery of polio vaccine and WHO may subsequently elect to fund clinical demonstrations.

The Nanopatch was invented at UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) by Professor Mark Kendall, and aims to replace traditional needle and syringe vaccine delivery methods with a small patch.

It features thousands of small projections designed to deliver the vaccine painlessly to the skin.

“We are delighted to be collaborating with WHO, applying the Nanopatch to help deliver effective polio vaccines to the areas that need them most,” said Professor Kendall, Vaxxas Founder and Chief Technology Officer.

“This project helps realise key advantages of the Nanopatch over the needle and syringe.  While the traditional needle and syringe delivers the vaccine to the muscle, the Nanopatch targets the abundant immune cells under the skin, increasing its effectiveness. 

“Furthermore, the Nanopatch doesn’t need to be kept refrigerated to maintain its efficacy. These advantages – together with a simple, needle-free administration – open a way to effective transportation and application of polio vaccine in the remote regions of the world where eradication efforts are most challenging.”

Phases of this project will be conducted within Professor Kendall’s UQ research group with project drivers including postdoctoral research fellow Dr David Muller.  

Following clinical development, Vaxxas would have the opportunity to supply Nanopatches in support of WHO’s global polio eradication efforts.