Golden, Colorado, USA – November 14, 2011 – PharmaJet Inc. announced today that it will receive funding through Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that enables researchers worldwide to pursue innovations that address persistent health and development challenges.
Dr. Linda McAllister, MD, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, Vice President of Research and Development, will pursue an innovative global health research project, titled "Elucidating the Mechanism of Intradermal Delivery."
Grand Challenges Explorations funds scientists and researchers worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. Dr. McAllister's project is one of 110 Grand Challenges Explorations grants announced this week.
"We believe in the power of innovation—that a single bold idea can pioneer solutions to our greatest health and development challenges," said Chris Wilson, Director of Global Health Discovery for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. "Grand Challenges Explorations seeks to identify and fund these new ideas wherever they come from, allowing scientists, innovators and entrepreneurs to pursue the kinds of creative ideas and novel approaches that could help to accelerate the end of polio, cure HIV infection or improve sanitation."
Projects that are receiving funding show promise in tackling priority global health issues where solutions do not yet exist. This includes finding effective methods to eliminate or control infectious diseases such as polio and HIV as well as discovering new sanitation technologies.
To learn more about Grand Challenges Explorations, visit www.grandchallenges.org.
Global polio eradication is within reach. The oral polio vaccine (OPV) currently in use leads to vaccine- associated poliomyelitis at a rate of 1 to 2 cases per million vaccine doses delivered. A global switch to inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) is critical and long overdue, however this transition is challenged by the increased cost of IPV, as well as the requirement for a needle to deliver IPV. PharmaJet plans to address these challenges by delivery of a reduced dose IPV vaccine into the skin (dermis) with an easy-to-use needle-free jet injection technology.
In contrast to muscle, the dermis is more immunologically active, allowing for dose reduction with a variety of vaccines however, it is unknown what drives the efficacy of intradermal (ID) delivery. With this funding PharmaJet hopes to elucidate the specific drivers of intradermal effectiveness, enabling further optimization of the needle-free technology and vaccine formulation to deliver the most cost effective strategies for global polio eradication.
About Grand Challenges Explorations
Grand Challenges Explorations is a US$100 million initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Launched in 2008, Grand Challenge Explorations grants have already been awarded to nearly 500 researchers from over 40 countries. The grant program is open to anyone from any discipline and from any organization. The initiative uses an agile, accelerated grant-making process with short, two-page online applications and no preliminary data required. Initial grants of $100,000 are awarded two times a year. Successful projects have an opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to US$1 million.
About PharmaJet Inc. and Needle-free Injection Technology
PharmaJet's needle-free injection technology delivers liquid drugs and vaccines to intramuscular, subcutaneous and intradermal tissue depths. PharmaJet injectors use pressure to create a fine stream of liquid that penetrates the skin, delivering doses to the desired depth, while eliminating needle-stick risk and the burden of sharps waste management. Further benefits of PharmaJet injectors include the potential for dose-sparing of vaccines, reducing the overall cost of vaccine delivery. The PharmaJet system has been well received in the developed world, and is also extremely advantageous in the developing world due to its usability, affordability and inherent safety features.