FDA okays Sanofi's microinjection flu vaccine‎

The FDA has approved an sBLA for Fluzone Intradermal--a seasonal flu vaccine that features a tiny, ultra-fine needle that's just one an a half millimeters long, or 90 percent shorter than the typical needle used for intramuscular injection. It's the first time a microneedle has been approved in the U.S. for adults aged 18 through 64, though it's already available in 40 other countries.

The prefilled microinjection system (pictured) injects antigens into the dermal layer of the skin, rather into the muscle like traditional vaccines. An immune response is elicited from dendric cells in the dermal layer. In trials, the intradermal vaccine demonstrated that it produced an immune response that's on par with flu vaccines delivered with regular needles.

Sanofi Pasteur CEO Olivier Charmeil noted that the less-painful prick of the intradermal vaccine could prompt more people to recieve the flu shot. "The microinjection delivery system utilized in Fluzone Intradermal vaccine provides reliable and easy delivery of the vaccine into the dermal layer of the skin, an attractive site for immunization," he noted. "Sanofi Pasteur is proud to bring this innovation in influenza vaccine administration to the U.S., offering health-care providers a new tool that may help enhance adult influenza immunization rates."

- here's the Sanofi release

Special Report: Microneedles - Game-Changing Drug Delivery Technologies

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