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      Microneedle systems for delivering nucleic acid drugs

      , ,
      Journal of Pharmaceutical Investigation
      Springer Singapore
      Microneedle, Nucleic acid, mRNA, siRNA, Vaccination

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          Nucleic acid-based gene therapy is a promising technology that has been used in various applications such as novel vaccination platforms for infectious/cancer diseases and cellular reprogramming because of its fast, specific, and effective properties. Despite its potential, the parenteral nucleic acid drug formulation exhibits instability and low efficacy due to various barriers, such as stability concerns related to its liquid state formulation, skin barriers, and endogenous nuclease degradation. As promising alternatives, many attempts have been made to perform nucleic acid delivery using a microneedle system. With its minimal invasiveness, microneedle can deliver nucleic acid drugs with enhanced efficacy and improved stability.

          Area covered

          This review describes nucleic acid medicines' current state and features and their delivery systems utilizing non-viral vectors and physical delivery systems. In addition, different types of microneedle delivery systems and their properties are briefly reviewed. Furthermore, recent advances of microneedle-based nucleic acid drugs, including featured vaccination applications, are described.

          Expert opinion

          Nucleic acid drugs have shown significant potential beyond the limitation of conventional small molecules, and the current COVID-19 pandemic highlights the importance of nucleic acid therapies as a novel vaccination platform. Microneedle-mediated nucleic acid drug delivery is a potential platform for less invasive nucleic acid drug delivery. Microneedle system can show enhanced efficacy, stability, and improved patient convenience through self-administration with less pain.

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          Most cited references129

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          Safety and Efficacy of the BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine

          Abstract Background Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and the resulting coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) have afflicted tens of millions of people in a worldwide pandemic. Safe and effective vaccines are needed urgently. Methods In an ongoing multinational, placebo-controlled, observer-blinded, pivotal efficacy trial, we randomly assigned persons 16 years of age or older in a 1:1 ratio to receive two doses, 21 days apart, of either placebo or the BNT162b2 vaccine candidate (30 μg per dose). BNT162b2 is a lipid nanoparticle–formulated, nucleoside-modified RNA vaccine that encodes a prefusion stabilized, membrane-anchored SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike protein. The primary end points were efficacy of the vaccine against laboratory-confirmed Covid-19 and safety. Results A total of 43,548 participants underwent randomization, of whom 43,448 received injections: 21,720 with BNT162b2 and 21,728 with placebo. There were 8 cases of Covid-19 with onset at least 7 days after the second dose among participants assigned to receive BNT162b2 and 162 cases among those assigned to placebo; BNT162b2 was 95% effective in preventing Covid-19 (95% credible interval, 90.3 to 97.6). Similar vaccine efficacy (generally 90 to 100%) was observed across subgroups defined by age, sex, race, ethnicity, baseline body-mass index, and the presence of coexisting conditions. Among 10 cases of severe Covid-19 with onset after the first dose, 9 occurred in placebo recipients and 1 in a BNT162b2 recipient. The safety profile of BNT162b2 was characterized by short-term, mild-to-moderate pain at the injection site, fatigue, and headache. The incidence of serious adverse events was low and was similar in the vaccine and placebo groups. Conclusions A two-dose regimen of BNT162b2 conferred 95% protection against Covid-19 in persons 16 years of age or older. Safety over a median of 2 months was similar to that of other viral vaccines. (Funded by BioNTech and Pfizer; ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT04368728.)
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            BNT162b2 mRNA Covid-19 Vaccine in a Nationwide Mass Vaccination Setting

            Abstract Background As mass vaccination campaigns against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) commence worldwide, vaccine effectiveness needs to be assessed for a range of outcomes across diverse populations in a noncontrolled setting. In this study, data from Israel’s largest health care organization were used to evaluate the effectiveness of the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine. Methods All persons who were newly vaccinated during the period from December 20, 2020, to February 1, 2021, were matched to unvaccinated controls in a 1:1 ratio according to demographic and clinical characteristics. Study outcomes included documented infection with the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), symptomatic Covid-19, Covid-19–related hospitalization, severe illness, and death. We estimated vaccine effectiveness for each outcome as one minus the risk ratio, using the Kaplan–Meier estimator. Results Each study group included 596,618 persons. Estimated vaccine effectiveness for the study outcomes at days 14 through 20 after the first dose and at 7 or more days after the second dose was as follows: for documented infection, 46% (95% confidence interval [CI], 40 to 51) and 92% (95% CI, 88 to 95); for symptomatic Covid-19, 57% (95% CI, 50 to 63) and 94% (95% CI, 87 to 98); for hospitalization, 74% (95% CI, 56 to 86) and 87% (95% CI, 55 to 100); and for severe disease, 62% (95% CI, 39 to 80) and 92% (95% CI, 75 to 100), respectively. Estimated effectiveness in preventing death from Covid-19 was 72% (95% CI, 19 to 100) for days 14 through 20 after the first dose. Estimated effectiveness in specific subpopulations assessed for documented infection and symptomatic Covid-19 was consistent across age groups, with potentially slightly lower effectiveness in persons with multiple coexisting conditions. Conclusions This study in a nationwide mass vaccination setting suggests that the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine is effective for a wide range of Covid-19–related outcomes, a finding consistent with that of the randomized trial.
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              mRNA vaccines — a new era in vaccinology

              mRNA vaccines represent a promising alternative to conventional vaccine approaches because of their high potency, capacity for rapid development and potential for low-cost manufacture and safe administration. However, their application has until recently been restricted by the instability and inefficient in vivo delivery of mRNA. Recent technological advances have now largely overcome these issues, and multiple mRNA vaccine platforms against infectious diseases and several types of cancer have demonstrated encouraging results in both animal models and humans. This Review provides a detailed overview of mRNA vaccines and considers future directions and challenges in advancing this promising vaccine platform to widespread therapeutic use.

                Author and article information

                J Pharm Investig
                J Pharm Investig
                Journal of Pharmaceutical Investigation
                Springer Singapore (Singapore )
                4 January 2022
                : 1-20
                GRID grid.256681.e, ISNI 0000 0001 0661 1492, College of Pharmacy and Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, , Gyeongsang National University, ; 501 Jinjudae-ro, Jinju, Gyeongsangnam-do 52828 Republic of Korea
                © The Author(s) under exclusive licence to The Korean Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Technology 2022

                This article is made available via the PMC Open Access Subset for unrestricted research re-use and secondary analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source. These permissions are granted for the duration of the World Health Organization (WHO) declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic.

                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100004085, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology;
                Award ID: NRF-2018R1D1A1B07049971
                Award Recipient :

                microneedle,nucleic acid,mrna,sirna,vaccination
                microneedle, nucleic acid, mrna, sirna, vaccination


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