All product packaging is held to strict standards by consumers, but pharmaceutical packaging must uphold far stricter guidelines, since the products inside the packaging are used to alter the health of the consumer. This means that faulty packaging, transportation, or storage could cause serious injury, illness, or death to the consumer. A cancer vaccine currently in clinical trials is drawing special attention to a brand new drug delivery system intended to package the vaccine product more efficiently than has ever been done before.

Panacea Pharmaceuticals Inc. has developed a cancer vaccine that is now undergoing clinical trials, and the potentially life-changing vaccine is being delivered directly to the dermis of patients using a 3M Hollow Microstructured Transdermal System, or hMTS. The delivery system has proven incredibly valuable throughout the clinical trial.

According to Steven Fuller, COO at Panacea Pharmaceuticals Inc., “First, Panacea has demonstrated in preclinical students that intradermal delivery of the cancer vaccine using the hMTS gives rise to a strong immune response, than does the traditional intramuscular route of injection. This intradermal delivery is critical for enhanced efficacy of the cancer vaccine. The second benefit is the ability of the device to deliver the vaccine to the dermis consistently. The third is the market benefit of a cancer vaccine product that is matched with a delivery device that ensures consistent, easy delivery of the full vaccine dose.”

The hMTS is so effective because it uses microneedles made from a liquid crystal polymer instead of stainless steel microneedles. Since the microneedles are similar in composition to implantable medical devices, the process of creating countless more hMTS packages is very scalable. In the words of Dr. Lisa Dick, Product Development Manager for 3M Drug Delivery Systems, “3M’s hMTS is simple and easy to use for delivery of high volumes, up to 2.0 milliliters, of biologics and vaccines to the skin. The benefits of our device for cancer vaccine delivery include reproducible delivery to the dermis of skin to generate an optimal immune response, potential to deliver high volumes of vaccine, and the flexibility to have the vaccine given by the health care provider or patient.”

All in all, this pharmaceutical packaging product is truly an innovative way to meet the most important needs for delivery and consumer use.

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