BD pitches for COVID-19 vaccine market by showing prefilled syringes cope with deep cold storage

BD has positioned itself to unlock a new COVID-19 vaccine opportunity by showing its glass prefilled syringes are suitable for use with mRNA shots that need storing at ultralow temperatures. 

As the storage requirements of mRNA vaccines against the coronavirus began to become clear last year, BD began studying how its syringes cope with temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius and minus 40 degrees Celsius. The subzero temperatures, which are well below the 2 degrees Celsius to 8 degrees Celsius conditions in which traditional vaccines are kept, can change container dimensions, cause thermal shock and cause liquids to become solid. 

BD analyzed around 2,000 syringes kept at minus 20 degrees Celsius and minus 40 degrees Celsius to show how the temperatures affect the delivery devices. The analysis covered syringes with different glass barrel coatings, volumes and other characteristics that could influence the response to deep cold storage.

According to BD, “the study showed key product functions—PFS system level—were unaltered” and “the count of subvisible particles and container closure integrity remained unchanged when compared to those stored at room temperature.” BD plans to share more data from the study at an event early next month but has already discussed the implications of the findings.

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“This study confirms the promising opportunity we have to apply our leading scientific capabilities to develop innovative delivery solutions for our customers now and in the future. We’re encouraged by these results and look forward to partnering with pharmaceutical companies to further advance PFS in deep cold conditions,” Bruno Baney, vice president of R&D for pharmaceutical systems at BD, said in a statement. 

As BD sees it, switching from vials to prefilled syringes can address the complexity and costs of vaccine administration. BD quoted studies showing the syringes reduce the time and labor needed to administer vaccines and support dose sparing to make its case.