Group Leader, Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
The University of Queensland
For 160 years we have been delivering vaccines via needle and syringe. That is all likely to change, following Professor Mark Kendall’s creation of the Nanopatch.
Currently needles are used to inject antigens into muscle. In contrast, the Nanopatch is designed to target the immune-rich cells of the skin’s outer layers with an array of thousands of micro projections – invisible to the naked eye – on a single patch.
Vaccines are dry-coated onto the patch, helping to eliminate the need for the vaccine cold chain which is both expensive to maintain, and risks being broken in underdeveloped regions that have poor access to electricity networks.
Animal studies his team have undertaken show the Nanopatch generates equivalent and protective immune responses as the needle and syringe but only needs to deliver a small fraction of the dose (eg 1/100th). Steps are underway to translate this to humans.
To translate the Nanopatch into the clinic and product, Mark founded Vaxxas in 2011 – playing a critical role in the R&D and securing the partnerships with Merck and the World Health Organisation.
Professor Mark Kendall is the 2016 winner of the CSL Young Florey Medal, in recognition of his world-leading work on the Nanopatch. Alongside the Florey Medal, he will also receive $25,000, courtesy of CSL.
Mark was presented with the award at the 2016 AAMRI Annual Dinner at Parliament House.