Vaccine and Pharmaceutical Delivery Technologies


Tools for preventing disease, expanding access and impact

Vaccinations against infectious disease save the lives of 2.5 million children and protect more than 100 million more from illness and disability every year.1 New technologies that improve the safe and effective delivery of vaccines and essential medicines can help to increase the reach and impact of these critical health care products. They also hold promise for reducing or eliminating needle reuse and contamination as well as many of the logistical burdens faced by health care programs in low-resource settings.

Driving innovation forward

In collaboration with numerous public- and private-sector partners, PATH’s work in vaccine and pharmaceutical delivery technologies centers on the development of tools and methods that improve the safety, acceptability, and effectiveness of immunization and drug delivery in developing countries. Our research explores the experiences of all stakeholders in the value chain in an effort to understand their needs and constraints as well as collect their feedback on ideal product attributes. With these insights, we work with our collaborators to create or adapt technologies to fit the conditions of use. We also work together to develop policies, guidelines, and programs that integrate with other local interventions and lead to sustainable improvements in public health outcomes. In addition, PATH frequently provides strategic advice and input to delivery device and container manufacturers seeking clearance or approval from regulatory agencies in Brazil, China, India, Europe, the United States, and other countries.

For more on this integrated approach as well as a general description of our technical and project management capabilities, please visit our Vaccine and Pharmaceutical Technologies group site.

Our scope of work

Groundbreaking innovations developed by PATH in the space of vaccine and pharmaceutical delivery technologies include the SoloShot™ syringe, the first commercialized autodisable (AD) syringe, and the Uniject™ injection system, the world’s only compact, simple to use prefilled syringe with autodisable features. Since then, we continue to collaborate with a wide range of developers and manufacturers of AD and reuse prevention feature syringes to expand marketplace innovation, competition, and production volume—helping to increase affordability and access for public health programs.

Additional work centers on identifying the means to reduce or eliminate sharps risk by determining the value, appropriateness, and acceptability of alternative or needle-free injection technologies, such as disposable-syringe jet injectors or microarray patches. We are also designing, assessing, and/or helping to adapt a range of primary container and packaging options, from blow-fill-seal containers and oral droppers to multidose presentations and novel reconstitution technologies, which may help to reduce product volume as well as the role of sharps. In addition, we are investigating the delivery of vaccines at smaller doses to lower costs and expand vaccine supplies for developing-country immunization programs.

Soloshot and Uniject are trademarks of BD.

1. World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund, World Bank. State of the World’s Vaccines and Immunization. 3rd ed. Geneva: WHO; 2009.