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Thermostable Dry Measles Vaccine Formulation for Sublingual Administration


Background: Vaccines are one of the most powerful tools available for preventing disease. Measles vaccine has led to the elimination of endemic measles from the Western Hemisphere and a tremendous reduction in global mortality. However, the logistic difficulties inherent in vaccination by injection create barriers to high measles vaccine coverage. Vaccination by injection requires highly skilled vaccinators, maintenance of an expensive cold-chain, vaccine reconstitution with risks of contamination and bio-waste disposal of millions of syringes and needles to prevent reuse or injuries. Needle-free vaccine delivery would lower these barriers and expand the benefits of vaccination to a larger at-risk population. Project Goal: Although sublingual drug delivery has been used for years, only recently has research begun to demonstrate the potential of sublingual vaccine delivery. Proposals are solicited for the development of a thermostable dry measles vaccine formulation to be administered sublingually in a melting tablet, wafer or strip format. The goal of this project is the development of the thermostability of the vaccine formulation in the selected format with < 1 log titer loss after 6 months at 37⁰ C and a clear demonstration of immunogenicity in a small animal model (i.e., cotton rat). Impact: A thermostable sublingual measles vaccine would lower barriers to vaccination, especially in the developing world, by reducing the skill level required to vaccinate, eliminating cold chain requirements and the risks associated with reconstitution and injection. Dry sublingual vaccine would reduce shipping costs, cold chain costs and the direct cost of syringe and needles as well as many hidden costs (e.g., costs of vaccinator training, sharps disposal, disease from needle reuse or injury).
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