Vaccine and Pharmaceutical Delivery Technologies

Intranasal and pulmonary technologies

Adapting existing tools for global use

Studies show that some vaccines against certain pathogens are more efficacious when delivered by the intranasal or pulmonary route, particularly if these routes correspond with the route of infection. For this reason, intranasal and pulmonary delivery devices are frequently used in high-income countries for the administration of influenza vaccine and the treatment of noncommunicable pulmonary diseases such as asthma, among other indications. In addition to accelerating the rapid absorption of vaccines and essential medicines into the bloodstream, the devices offer improved safety and increased access over needle injections by helping to facilitate delivery by a wider range of skilled and unskilled health workers—in some cases, even enabling self-administration. However, many of these same devices do not yet address the needs of developing countries in terms of cost, safety, and ease of use.

Expanding the value proposition

PATH is investigating the potential to adapt existing intranasal and pulmonary delivery devices for vaccines and drug therapies of critical importance to developing countries. Recently, we conducted an analysis of intranasal delivery technologies for use with live-attenuated vaccines. A variety of options were evaluated, including liquid drops and sprays, dry powders, user-filled devices, single-use and multiuse devices, and separate as well as integrated reconstitution technologies. Our results were provided to manufacturers of new, low-cost influenza vaccines and helped to inform the selection and development of delivery devices for use with their vaccines in developing-country contexts.

Additional information