The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation this week announced it is taking requests for proposals to develop a dual-chamber, prefilled, single-dose injection device for use in remote in-home settings by low skilled healthcare workers and through self-administration.
The injection device will be used for the administration of the measles-rubella vaccine in house-to-house campaigns, and for the self-administration of long-acting, injectable contraceptives, according to a posting from the group.
“The device should enable safe injection outside of traditional healthcare facilities and meet minimum requirements for one of the two use cases outlined. Ideally, proposed devices will meet and exceed minimum requirements for both use cases,” the Gates Foundation wrote.
Requirements for the device include being lightweight, rugged and compact for shipping, storing and use, having a simple and intuitive design, being able to ensure accurate reconstitution and administration of freeze-dried or powered drug or vaccine products into patients and consisting of materials compatible with a wide range of sterile injectables.
Guidelines also indicate that the device should be compatible with filling under aseptic conditions with the capability to maintain product sterility during storage, that it contains built-in safeguards to prevent reuse of the device, including the needle, and that it be low-cost to manufacture and fill to allow for easier adoption.
The Gates Foundation will distribute three to five awards next January for winning devices, with awards ranging between $100,000 and $250,000. The deadline for initial submissions is July 10, according to the posting.
“This is intended to be a first phase of funding – successful prototypes may be further supported for user acceptance testing, pilot scale production, and further development,” the Gates Foundation wrote.