Bioneedle has re-imagined the way vaccines are manufactured, transported and administered

Co-founder and CSO Dr. Gijsbert van de Wijdeven describes how a radical new vaccine-delivery platform offers an innovative solution for developing countries and a rapid-response mechanism to address worldwide public health emergencies.

Vaccinations are widely considered the best, cheapest and most effective way to protect against a growing list of infectious diseases. But ambitious vaccine programs are currently hampered by an outmoded delivery system.

Every year billions of vaccinations are administered. World health organizations want to extend the benefits of vaccines to millions more, but failures in the cold chain — maintenance of critical temperature during transport, storage and handling — render half of all vaccines sent to rural and remote regions of the world ineffectual before they can be administered. What’s needed is an integrated end-to-end solution developed to overcome each critical hurdle along the vaccine delivery path.

At a Glance

  • Formed in 2004, privately held and based in the Netherlands
  • Developing a platform of integrated innovations, each developed to address a specific hurdle along the vaccine delivery path. Composite solution includes:
    • A pharmaceutical-grade biomaterial used to administer substances via injection (parenteral applications)
    • Vaccine thermo-stabilization technology (to render dry state vaccine)
    • Bioneedles, mini implants made of rapidly degrading biomaterials
    • Bioneedle applicator, a hand-held device powered by air compression delivers pain-free, a mini implant subcutaneously or intramuscularly
  • Overcomes logistical obstacles associated with transport into remote regions and failures in the cold chain resulting in vaccine deterioration
  • Reduces overall delivery system costs and eliminates health hazards related to reuse of contaminated needles
  • Winner of 2010 LAUNCH Award, a global initiative to identify and accelerate innovative solutions to urgent challenges facing society. LAUNCH is a joint effort of NASA, USAID, U.S. Department of State and NIKE
  • Winner of the 2012 Katerva Award, an annual international prize identifying some of the most promising ideas and innovations emerging worldwide