Vaxxas to upscale manufacture of needle-free vaccine technology


Megan Polidano, head Of Regulatory Affairs at Vaxxas. Image credit: Queensland government.

Vaxxas, a Queensland biotechnology company, has begun construction on a new facility at Northshore Hamilton that will upscale the manufacturing capacity of their needle-free vaccine technology. 

Vaxxas’ high density micro-array patch (HD-MAP) technology can deposit a vaccine through the surface of the skin within seconds, Vaxxas chief operations and development officer Angus Forster said. 

“Our world-leading technology uses a small patch with a surface of thousands of micro-projections, just a quarter of a millimetre long, which are coated with a vaccine,” Forster said. 

“Our clinical research shows that this elicits a more efficient and effective immune response than traditional syringes, due to the abundance of immune cells immediately below the surface of the skin. There’s also the opportunity to make the transportation of vaccines to rural and remote communities much easier, as the vaccine patch can be stored at temperatures as high as 40oC.” 

Vaxxas will employ up to 110 biomedical experts when operations begin in early 2023, with the potential for a further 139 new jobs over five years. 

“An existing warehouse here at Northshore, Brisbane will be refurbished and transformed into a state-of-the-art biomedical manufacturing facility, creating more than 80 jobs during construction,” Queensland deputy premier and minister for State Development Steven Miles said. 

“Once construction is finished in early 2023, Vaxxas expects to eventually manufacture enough needle-free vaccine kits to deliver 300 million doses each year at full capacity. Over the next 10 years, this rate of production is expected to contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to the Queensland economy.” 

The home-grown technology could play an important role in future pandemics because it allows vaccines to be quickly and easily deployed to people. 

“Supporting local biomedical companies scale-up and grow is good for Queensland and good for the world,” Miles said. 

“That’s why Economic Development Queensland worked with Vaxxas to progress design and approvals for the facility, helping to grow the state’s economy.” 

While the company’s first project will deliver an influenza vaccine, Vaxxas will also investigate opportunities to improve the performance of other vaccines to support future responses to pandemics such as COVID-19. 

“We are pleased to be able to continue our work here in Brisbane and commend the Queensland government for its investment in building Australia’s local manufacturing capacity and job prospects,” Forster said. 

Hansen Yuncken was awarded the contract to refurbish the warehouse located in the Northshore Priority Development Area. 

“Northshore has long been a hub for innovation and business such as Prohelion and Universal Field Robots, as well as precincts such as Portside, Brisbane Technology Park, Eat Street Markets and some of Brisbane’s best waterfront living,” Miles said. 

“Now it will be home to a national-first needle-free vaccine manufacturing facility.” 

The Vaxxas project aligns with the government’s Queensland Biomedical 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan to make Queensland a globally competitive Asia-Pacific biomedical hub by 2027.