3M Drug Delivery Systems has entered into an agreement with VaxInnate Corporation to develop a flu vaccine patch for use against a pandemic flu outbreak. The non-exclusive license agreement provides VaxInnate with use of patented 3M microneedle technology, called 3M Microstructured Transdermal System (MTS) technology, to deliver its M2e universal flu vaccine using a convenient skin patch instead of a traditional injection. 3M’s innovative microneedle technology penetrates the skin with minimal discomfort, providing intradermal delivery for drugs, vaccines and protein therapeutics that are typically available only via injection. This application expands the range of active pharmaceutical ingredients that can be delivered via a skin patch while eliminating the need for sharps disposal. “Our technology combines the ease, convenience and self-administration potential of a transdermal patch with the speed and efficiency of a traditional injection,” said Kris Hansen, PhD, MTS Technical Manager for 3M Drug Delivery Systems. “Studies using model vaccines have validated the potential effectiveness of delivering vaccines with the solid Microstructured Transdermal System.” “The ability to deliver VaxInnate’s M2e universal flu vaccine using 3M’s transdermal patch could make it possible to vaccinate people rapidly for seasonal flu or in the event of a pandemic flu, when doing so is critical to stopping the spread of disease,” added Alan Shaw PhD, VaxInnate CEO. “Through this collaboration, we have an opportunity to make a major contribution to global public health.” “MTS technology has the potential to improve vaccine potency, which would provide optimal vaccine efficacy and could make intradermal delivery superior for certain antigens,” said Mark Tomai PhD, head of Vaccine Business Development, 3M Drug Delivery Systems. “In addition, this technology has the potential for reducing cold-chain storage, an issue with many current vaccines.” VaxInnate has reported impressive results from early human testing of its M2e universal flu vaccine candidate, which could end the need for annual flu shots and provide protection against seasonal and pandemic flu strains. The vaccine candidate will advance into further human studies in 2009.