Manufacturers jointly develop vaccines that make injections obsolete

Netherlands-based Crucell N.V. and Vaxin, Inc. of Birmingham, Ala. announce they will jointly develop new types of vaccines that can be administered to patients in a needleless, non-invasive manner.

The two companies will combine Crucell's PER.C6( cell line and related vaccination technology with Vaxin's unique skin delivery system for vaccines known as EasyVax.( This new anti-viral vaccine is administered through a patch placed on the patient's skin, thus eliminating the potential contamination created by using a needle-based system.

Under the terms of the joint development agreement, Crucell and Vaxin will collaborate on developing two anti-viral vaccines and will share both costs and profits. The research will be performed in Birmingham and in Leiden, The Netherlands. One of the diseases targeted for vaccination development is rabies, which kills an estimated 60,000 to 80,000 people in Asia annually.

To develop the rabies vaccine, parts of the DNA of the virus will be inserted into Crucell's specially selected vector (a gene-delivery system based on common cold adenoviruses) for delivery of these genes into specific skin cells. The specific adenoviral vectors will be produced in Crucell's PER.C6( cell line. Using Vaxin's EasyVax.( technology, the adenoviral vectors will be applied to the surface of the skin through a patch. The vectors containing the DNA of the virus will penetrate skin cells, causing a protective immune response against rabies.