For some people, going to the doctor’s office for your annual flu shot may be a dreadful thing. Needle injections may not be for everyone but alternatives are surfacing for the flu. An emerging biosciences company, FluGen, co-founded by the University of Wisconsin is in works of developing a painless skin patch. The intradermal vaccination is about the size of a poker chip and has been shown to be as effective, if not more, than needle injections. This pharmaceutical invention may give those with a needle phobia (in politically correct terms: trypanophobia) a sigh of relief, but how else can this new intradermal patch affect our healthcare industry? How long/fast will it take to administer? How much more/less will it be?
FluGen has been given $7.8 million of funding, enabling it to proceed into human clinical trials (Phase 1) this year. If all goes according to plan, the new flu patch could be ready by 2015. FluGen specializes in influenza studies and is also investigating the most efficient and effective ways for delivering flu vaccinations.
Most of us know that the flu is common in the winter, and that some of the symptoms are similar to the cold, but what is the flu? Seasonal influenza (flu) is a highly contagious virus and sends approximately 20,000 Canadians to the hospital each year. It infects the lungs and airways, and can be spread through respiratory droplets by an infected person. Flu season in Canada is usually from November to April, and some symptoms include sudden onset of cough, headache, sore throat and muscle aches. On the other hand, those that have a cold usually do not experience: headaches, fever, muscle aches and nausea.
So, which do you prefer a simple flu shot or a painless flu patch? What about other treatment options?
Here at the Canadian Centre for Clinical Trials we currently have a trial for acute influenza A. The study medication, carbabenzpyride, is an oral medication and may one day be a treatment option for those suffering from the flu. For more information or to see if you are eligible for any of our other trials, please visit: