25 Mar FluGen secures exclusive rights to novel vaccine-delivery technology
MADISON – FluGen Inc., an emerging leader in the development, production and delivery of influenza vaccines and related products, today announced it has secured exclusive rights to a novel, patent-protected vaccine-delivery technology being commercialized by Madison, Wis.-based Ratio Inc. Terms of the license agreement were not disclosed.
The easy-to-use, disposable micro-device, roughly the size of a poker chip, painlessly delivers seasonal and pandemic influenza vaccines. At the press of a button, a miniature fluidic pump distributes the vaccine to a set of microneedles. These microneedles deliver the vaccine intradermally, or into the skin, but not through it and into the muscle, like the traditional needle and syringe do.
The micro-device holds the potential to significantly increase vaccine effectiveness. Seasonal influenza vaccines have shown as little as 20 to 40 percent efficacy in some patients. Intradermal delivery like that which will be enabled by the micro-device has been shown to increase vaccine efficacy, particularly among those 65 years and older, for whom the disease is the most deadly. The vaccine-delivery technology also may improve vaccination rates because of the pain-free, easy-to-use delivery it affords. More than a third of those 65 years and older do not receive vaccinations each year, despite higher influenza mortality rates due to age-related immune deficiencies. The vaccination rate is even lower in younger populations.
FluGen this year will begin pre-clinical testing of the micro-device with the company’s cell-based trivalent influenza vaccines, or TIVs. The company anticipates submitting an investigational new drug (IND) application for its vaccine-loaded micro-device to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration during the second half of 2010 and hopes to enter a Phase I clinical trial upon its approval, by the end of 2010.
“This exciting vaccine-delivery technology from Ratio is an important expansion of FluGen’s product pipeline,” said Paul V. Radspinner, president and chief executive of FluGen. “It will allow the company to offer the $6-billion influenza vaccine market not only superior vaccines, but an easy-to-use, painless delivery technology that increases vaccine effectiveness. FluGen looks forward to advancing this valuable product through our pipeline with one or more TIVs.”
FluGen also announced that it has been selected to participate in the upcoming BIO National Venture Conference being held March 31-April 1 in Boston. Mr. Radspinner will make a presentation on behalf of the company on March 31 at 2 p.m.
About FluGen Inc.
FluGen is an emerging leader in the development, production and delivery of influenza and related infectious disease products. The company has differentiating technologies that enable it to create value and compete in the large, rapidly growing influenza vaccine market. FluGen is actively advancing a valuable product pipeline that provides the company with unique competitive advantages and addresses significant unmet customer needs. These products include a live attenuated vaccine candidate, a cell-line technology that provides improved vaccine production efficiency and capacity, and a novel, vaccine-loaded intradermal delivery technology. For more information about FluGen, please visit our web site at www.flugen.com
About Ratio Inc.
Ratio Inc. is a medical device company developing technologies for pain-free delivery of large molecule drugs and other biologics into the skin. Ratio’s drug delivery system pairs an inexpensive, non-electronic pump with a microneedle array, creating a small “patch” that can be applied to the skin like a Band-Aid. The pump technology can be adjusted for a wide range of delivery profiles and volumes to meet the needs of many drug applications.