US-based Micron Biomedical has received $23.6m in funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the bulk manufacturing of needle-free vaccines.

The vaccine, which is virtually painless to administer, works by applying the microarray technology to the skin and then pressing a button for delivery.

This technology cuts down cold chain requirements and permits community health workers to inoculate children in minutes. It could boost treatment and vaccine access in low and middle-income countries.

Micron is also developing a needle-free measles-rubella (MR) vaccine leveraging its microarray technology. 

The vaccine is intended for children from nine months old, subject to regulatory approvals and further clinical trials. 

The funding will aid in developing a manufacturing plant, which will facilitate commercialising a first-ever MR vaccine based on microarray technology.

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Micron Biomedical CEO Steven Damon stated: “We’re grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the grant that allows us to build on our collaborative track record of bringing effective and life-saving vaccines to children and adults in communities with limited infrastructure. 

“By supporting Micron’s efforts to develop a state-of-the-art, high-quality and large-scale production facility to manufacture our microarray technology, we have an opportunity to greatly improve on access and availability of measles/rubella vaccines, as well as other traditionally injectable global health vaccines, in underserved populations around the world.”

In May 2023, Micron reported positive data from its Phase I/II trial analysing the MR vaccine delivered via the company’s microarray technology.

The trial evaluated the immunogenicity, acceptability and safety of the injection-free vaccine in adults, toddlers and infants aged nine months and above.