Global pharmaceutical giant Merck has announced that it has entered into a partnership with Vaxxas to further develop the technology to deliver vaccines without the need for needles.
Vaxxas was formed by University of Queensland Professor Mark Kendall who is working on the technology, called Nanopatch, which not only delivers the vaccine without any need for a needle, but also uses 1/100th of a dose delivered by conventional vaccine syringe.
Merck announced that it will be paying Vaxxas an upfront free and will also provide additional funds required to research and test the Nanopatch technology. In return, Merck will have the exclusive license to use the technology in developing a vaccine candidate in the future.
Stating that the partnership will provide a major boost for Vaxxas to ensure that Nanopatch develops into a vaccine delivery product, Professor Kendall said, "It is exciting to commence this important partnership between Vaxxas and Merck - a big step forward towards the Nanopatch becoming a vaccine delivery product. This directly builds upon intensive and outstanding research on the Nanopatch - conducted by my research group at UQ - taking the Nanopatch from an idea to achieving unprecedented immune responses in animals. And our research has been supported by competitive research grants from both the Australian and Queensland State Governments."