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London Tech Week

Dutch startup working on Covid-19 vaccine patch to replace injectable jabs picks $4M funding

MyLife Technologies
Image credits: MyLife Technologies

Leiden-based MyLife Technologies is a nanotechnology company that aims to revolutionise vaccine delivery. The company is involved in developing small ceramic skin patches to deliver vaccines better than regular injection painful process.

Recently, the Dutch vaccine and drug delivery company has picked up $4 million in a funding round led by Fare Capital, SAL Beheer and a slew of informal and existing investors. MyLife Technologies plans to deploy the funds to debut the production of vaccine patches for clinical studies. Also, it will invest with partners to demonstrate projects against COVID-19, HPV and a vaccine therapy to fight several types of cancer.

Aspirational expansion plans

Besides this, MyLife Technologies is focused on the upcoming Series A funding round that is estimated to raise $17.5 million. This round is believed to be materialised in early 2023 and will focus on constructing a pilot plant. Also, the company seems to be having aspirational growth plans wherein it will expand its activities to the US and Asia.

Eyes to commerialise ceramic patch tech

MyLife Technologies debuted in 2012 as a spin-off from the University of Twente, MESA+, Institute for Nanotechnology. The company is led by its CEO Mike de Leeuw and aims to commercialise its innovative ceramic patch aka Micro-Needle Array Patch, to administer drugs and vaccines. In 2015, it opened its lab in the facilities of BioPartner Center at Leiden Bio Science Park. Also, it has obtained tech patents in Europe, the USA, Japan and China.

MyLife Technologies offers a unique poke & diffuse technology wherein the drugs are entrapped in the nano-pores of its micro-needle arrays. Later, these are diffused into the skin after administration. Its poke & diffuse approach offers a unique drug release profile than ever before.

Painless vaccines are a reality!

These ceramic vaccine patches are innovative. Being made of inert ceramic material, these patches comprise hundreds of microscopic needles that penetrate only the outer layer of the skin. With this patch, the needles will not reach the blood vessles and sensitive nerves, thereby making the process of administering vaccines completely painless. It is similar to any other skin patch that you use.

MyLife Technologies’ skin patches are easy to apply within a matter of 30 seconds and can be discarded as normal waste. Its benefits can be received via the company’s patent-protected nano-porous ceramic structure. The company delivers various vaccines, including protein complexes, peptides, VLP’s and mRNA and DNA-vaccines.

Here’s more about nano-porous micro-needle array

Its ceramic, nano-porous micro-needle array distinguishes MyLife Technologies and makes it widely recognisable. Talking about this technology, the nano-pores store the active compounds, including vaccines and medicines inside the patch that contacts micro-needles attached to its backplate. It is combined with excipients, including surface-bound active compounds, which creates a unique release profile with its nano-porous micro-needle array.

When the patch is adhered to the skin, the vaccine diffuses into the outer layer of the skin from the nano-pores and targets the dendritic cells. This is when the microneedles pierce the stratum corneum and read the dermis and epidermis, thereby touching the deep-relying nerves or blood vessels.

After sintering at a high temperature of 1450-degree Celcius, the ceramic material ensures no organic compounds are left, and all the ceramic compounds are molten and welded. Its ceramic patches have no monomers, leechables or polymer-associated organic excipients. These do not have degradation products as seen in dissolvable micro-needles that can interact with sensitive vaccines or create inflammation in sensitive skin.

Besides this, the company touts that its ceramic tips have unparalleled sharpness and toughness as compared to other materials used in microneedles such as metals, plastics, or bio-dissolvable polymers. The patch will be applied properly by a npMNA-integrated applicator.

Vaccine delivery in the skin

By delivering vaccines to the skin, MyLife Technologies reduces the amount of antigens and makes a big difference in controlling the outbreaks of infections. As the nano-porous micro needles pave the way for the development of dry products that can be stored and shipped globally, they will eliminate the complex and expensive cold chain distribution meant for liquid-based vaccines. Eventually, there will be unique benefits such as reduced cost of delivery, speedy delivery of vaccines, protection against new or mutated infections, and more.

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