The pharmaceutical industry had an excellent showing in the Fast Company 2022 World-Changing Ideas Awards series, focusing on organizations dedicated to ‘social good.’
This year, the publication awarded three drug-delivery applications with awards, and Siemens took home a prize for its work in accelerating COVID-19 vaccine development.
A 3D printed vaccine patch could deliver vaccine doses painlesslyScientists associated with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Stanford University have created a 3D printed vaccine patch with 100 microneedles that are each 1.5 microns in diameter. The patch yielded 50 times more immune response than conventional subcutaneous vaccine injections in studies involving rodents. While the concept is promising, the researchers acknowledge that convincing vaccine developers to support a new vaccine drug delivery method may prove challenging. Other researchers have also tested microneedle patches for drug delivery.
The patch won in the experimental category of Fast Company‘s 2022 World-Changing Ideas Awards.
Last year, the American Chemical Society highlighted China-based research focused on using a microneedle patch to inoculate against COVID-19.
Rani Therapeutics awarded for drug-delivery innovationFast Company named Rani Therapeutics’ Ranipill the winner in its award series ‘Health’ category, given the pill’s ability to offer painless injections. The applications of the company’s technology could grow with the RaniPill HC, a high-capacity version that can deliver up to 20 mg of drug. In March, Rani Therapeutics’ CEO Talat Imran referred to the RaniPill as a ‘quantum leap,’ adding that it could enable the delivery of many biologics.
Siemens honored for supporting COVID-19 vaccine production
With its digital twin software, the German conglomerate Siemens helped accelerate COVID-19 vaccine production. Fast Company thus awarded the company in its ‘pandemic response’ category.
The publication was impressed with Siemens’ collaboration with BioNTech to help accelerate the commercialization of the BNT162b2 COVID-19 vaccine with automation and digitization technology. BioNTech also partnered with Pfizer to develop the vaccine from start to finish in just five months.
Johnson & Johnson Vision wins award for medication-dispensing contact lensesJohnson & Johnson Vision has developed a contact lens that incorporates the eye antihistamine ketotifen into the polymer of the Acuvue Theravision lens. The disposable contact lenses won FDA approval in February. J&J markets the lenses as the ‘world’s first and only drug-eluting contact lens.’ In Phase 3 clinical trials, the lenses led to a clinically and statistically meaningful reduction in itchy allergy eyes.
Decentralized clinical trial firm Curebase wins honorable mention
The San Francisco–based startup Curebase won an honorable mention in the health category for its innovations in decentralized clinical trials. In particular, the company has worked to make clinical trials more diverse and patient-friendly. The company’s CEO Tom Lemberg has vowed to popularize the notion of ‘bring-your-own-physician’ clinical trials.
Strata Oncology’s Precision Indications for Approved Therapies clinical trial also honored
Also getting an honorable mention in the health category was Strata Oncology’s Precision Indications for Approved Therapies (Strata PATH) clinical trial. In particular, Strata Path is a non-randomized, open-label platform trial that supports the safety and efficacy testing of FDA-approved cancer drugs in advanced and micro-metastatic settings.