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Needle-free injection device developed by MIT spinout

A new needle-free injection device could help reduce the pain and worry for patients needing multiple injections.

Patients suffering from chronic diseases often require numerous injections of drugs but due to associated pain and anxiety, some patients stop adhering to treatments. The FDA and Centers for Disease Control currently estimate adherence rates for injected biologics somewhere between 40% and 70%.

Now, a spinout from MIT has developed a device to take away the worries of needle injections, shorten administration time and improve adherence.

Portal Instruments has developed a jet-injection device that delivers medicine through the skin with little to no pain. The device, Prime, is the size of an electric razor and includes a connected app that tracks medicine doses and enables patients and doctors to see their progress. Prime works by having drugs being loaded into a single-use, disposable vessel, which is then fired at high pressure through the device’s nozzle.  

After using the device, patients can input how they’re feeling into the app. A digital image of the body is available so patients can input which joints still hurt after using Prime. Doctors can then check patients’ adherence levels and satisfaction to potentially adjust treatment.

Prime can inject drug doses at a specific skin depth, something which other jet-injection devices don’t currently do. For instance, the device could have a high-pressure injection for drugs needing to breach the skin or a low-pressure injection to deliver drugs to the surrounding tissue.

Portal Instruments has now landed a commercialisation deal for Prime with the Japanese pharmaceutical company, Takeda. Portal Instruments will work with Takeda’s Entyvio drug as a potential candidate for administration through Prime. The drug is an antibody for people with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. The company is set to receive an initial payment and could possibly earn milestone payments of up to $100 million.

Speaking about Prime, CEO Patrick Anquetil, who co-founded Portal with Hunter in 2012, said: “It’s an exciting opportunity to improve the lives of patients with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. The collaboration allows Portal to work alongside Takeda’s research and development team on the product while growing the startup’s business.”

“Our main driver is to think of patient comfort at the system-level … and fundamentally change how physicians and patients interact. That’s comes from our MIT training.” Anquetil continued.

Tags Prime needle-free MIT Portal Instruments

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