MAP Workshop at Harro Höfliger
From January 15th to 17th international experts discussed Microneedle Array Patches at Harro Höfliger.
It is only a slight prick – but the willingness to be vaccinated is dwindling in Germany. The situation is different in other parts of the world. There, immunization against avoidable infectious diseases, such as measles and tetanus, is in great demand, but the life-saving vaccinations do not reach people everywhere. Lack of infrastructure or a non-continuous cold chain for the vaccine makes access more difficult. Microneedle Array Patches (MAP) offer an alternative to conventional vaccination by syringe. They contain microscopic, vaccine-filled needle structures and could even be administered by non-medical staff if necessary.
At the "MAP Manufacturing Workshop" in Allmersbach im Tal, which took place from January 15th to 17th, health experts, scientists, developers and pharmacists exchanged information on the general application possibilities of MAPs, as well as their manufacture. The hosts were Harro Höfliger and PATH, a global health non-profit organization. Participants included representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Gavi, as well as MAP developers from organizations and universities worldwide.
"We have been involved in various microneedle systems for years, working closely with scientists, universities and various organizations, and have followed developments in this field together with our customers," said Stefan Bernsau, who is responsible for the Microneedles segment at Harro Höfliger. In addition to its expertise, Harro Höfliger offers the technology for fully automatic production, coating and drying, as well as packaging of the microneedle systems. For clinical studies and vaccination campaigns the microneedle systems need to be available in very large quantities and at reasonable costs.
The event was opened by Thomas Weller, CEO of Harro Höfliger, who was delighted to be hosting: "It makes us proud that we can help advance the MAPs. This shows that we have long been much more than just a machine manufacturer: we are a partner with the capacity to implement global developments of various new technologies."