Vaxxas to Make Needle-Free Vaccine Patch in Australia

By Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson
Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia, with a background in screenwriting and documentary. Contact him at caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au
December 10, 2021 Updated: December 10, 2021

Construction has started on a state-of-the-art biomedical facility in Brisbane to manufacture a needle-free vaccine delivery patch to help with future pandemics.

The Vaxxas facility is expected to be up and running in 2023 after refurbishments are complete on an existing warehouse in the city’s north side suburb of Hamilton.

Deputy Premier Steven Miles, the minister for development, said the Queensland government had provided support to Vaxxas to progress design and approvals as part of the state’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is expected to create 80 jobs during construction and around 140 over 10 years.

“Once construction is finished in early 2023, Vaxxas expects to eventually manufacture enough needle-free vaccine kits to deliver 300 million doses each year at full capacity,” Miles said.

“Over the next 10 years, this rate of production is expected to contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to the Queensland economy.”

Vaxxas aims to employ up to 110 high-skilled biomedical experts, with Miles saying it will go a long way in securing Queensland as a globally competitive Asia-Pacific biomedical hub.

The deputy premier said that vaccine technology could play an essential role in future pandemics because it allows vaccines to be quickly and easily deployed to people.

Angus Forster, Vaxxas chief operations and development officer, said the company’s high density micro-array patch (HD-MAP) technology could deposit a vaccine through the surface of the skin in just a few seconds.

“Our world-leading technology uses a small patch with a surface of thousands of micro-projections, just a quarter of a millimetre long, which are coated with a vaccine,” Forster said.

“Our clinical research shows that this elicits a more efficient and effective immune response than traditional syringes due to the abundance of immune cells immediately below the surface of the skin.”

The new technology might also make it easier to transportation of vaccines to rural and remote communities easier as the vaccine patch can be stored at temperatures as high as 40 degrees celcius.

This is in contrast to the current cold-chain storage requirements needed for COVID-19 vaccines.

The company will first focus on delivering an influenza vaccine patch, but Vaxxas will also investigate opportunities to improve the performance of other vaccines, including for COVID-19, “to support future pandemic preparedness and response.”

Vaxxas states on its site that it collaborates with global vaccine commercialisation organisations, such as Merck/MSD, the United States Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the World Health Organisation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has invested over $12.5 million (US$9 million) in Vaxxas between 2016 and 2019.

Caden Pearson is a reporter based in Australia, with a background in screenwriting and documentary. Contact him at caden.pearson@epochtimes.com.au