The Global Problem of Medicine Delivery
The lack of developed cold chains deprives many areas of the world from lifesaving medicines. The preservation and distribution of therapeutic protein-based medicines such as insulin is an expensive and complicated process, heavily reliant on refrigeration. The human cost of this problem is enormous. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates 1.5 million children under the age of five die from vaccine-preventable diseases, and more than 330,000 diabetics in Sub-Saharan Africa die each year due to the lack of a refrigerated supply chain for insulin delivery.
A Solution without Refrigeration
Upkara’s technology is able to preserve therapeutic proteins at ambient temperature (~50 deg. C). This stabilization technique utilizes rapid anhydrobiotic vitrification in a proprietary vitrification medium. This breakthrough enables proteinous drugs, vaccines, antigens and antibodies to be stored at ambient temperatures, eliminating the need for refrigeration or controlled temperature storage systems. Using a benign excipient, the preserved materials can be contained within proprietary storage scaffolds. The final product is a vitrified storage pack containing the preserved protein.
The three segments of the biopharmaceutical market most immediately applicable to Upkara’s preservation technology are the insulin, antibody, and vaccine markets. The global value of these markets is projected to be U.S. $225 billion by 2020. Removing the cold chain requirement of these products would reduce global distribution costs by more than U.S. $13 billion per annum. Upkara’s first target is the insulin market.
Eliminating the need for refrigeration in the storage and distribution of therapeutic proteins will:
- Save lives by increasing access to these drugs for a large portion of the world’s population where the current cold chain is inadequate.
- Lower total costs. Anhydrobiotic stabilization could reduce the cost of distributing insulin by 50 percent.
- Drive higher profits. Increasing patient access will expand the market for therapeutic proteins, driving revenue growth while lowering delivery costs.