YORK, Pa., Aug. 30, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Unilife Corporation ("Unilife" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: UNIS; ASX: UNS) today announced the development of a unique proprietary range of auto-injectors for the self-administration of injectable drugs by patients outside of healthcare facilities.
Developed for use in conjunction with Unifill prefilled syringes, Unifill Auto-Injectors are compact in size and enable patients to inject a fixed dose of medication with the simple push of a button, without ever seeing the needle. Unlike conventional auto-injector technologies that are used with standard prefilled syringes, the incorporation of the Unifill syringe with its integrated safety features give Unifill Auto-Injectors several significant market advantages including a small diameter, a true end-of-dose indicator and automatic retraction of the needle from the skin after completion of the injection.
Unilife has developed its Unifill Auto-Injectors in single-use disposable and re-usable configurations for use across a wide spectrum of therapeutic drug classes. The Unifill self-injection systems can be customized to support a range of drug viscosities, patient dexterity and visual acuity requirements. Injectable drugs are increasingly supplied in both prefilled syringe and auto-injector formats across a multitude of therapeutic classes. The availability of the Unifill syringe, either in a stand-alone format or supplied together with the Unifill Auto-Injector, can enable pharmaceutical companies to standardize their device platforms under the Unifill technology.
Mr. Alan Shortall, CEO of Unilife, said: "Unifill Auto-Injectors represent a breakthrough technology within the billion dollar market for self-injection systems. Existing auto-injectors in the market use conventional prefilled syringes and can be bulky in size, as they are required to undertake several tasks, including the automatic insertion of the needle into the body, the injection of the dose and the subsequent extension of a shield over the needle. Unilife's auto-injector uses the Unifill prefilled syringe, which automatically retracts the needle back into the barrel upon full dose delivery. Consequently, our Unifill Auto-Injectors utilize fewer components, are more reliable and are compact in size for portability, easy handling and convenient disposal.
"The audible click and tactile feedback, which signals the activation of the safety mechanism and the automatic retraction of the needle from the body, also gives the Unifill Auto-Injectors a true end-of-dose indicator. In addition, making the needle virtually invisible to the patient is another important feature that garners significant user acceptance and preference for our auto-injector.
"Conventional auto-injector technologies can cause some confusion among patients, as it can be difficult to determine just when the full dose has been delivered. For Unifill Auto-Injectors, once a patient hears the audible-tactile indication signaling the activation of the safety mechanism, they know the dose has been fully administered and the device can be safely taken away from the body. This true end-of-dose indicator represents a unique competitive advantage for our auto-injectors that addresses a key unmet need given the importance of accurately administering a full dose of medication to optimize patient compliance with therapy regimes," concluded Mr. Shortall.
Dr. Ramin Mojdeh, COO, commented: "Unilife has developed its proprietary platform of Unifill Auto-Injectors in direct response to the unmet needs of pharmaceutical companies and patients. We are excited by the potential of our Unifill Auto-Injectors to improve patient care, optimize therapy compliance and generate powerful brand differentiation for their injectable drugs. And we look forward to advancing discussions regarding our Unifill Auto-Injectors with a number of pharmaceutical companies.
"Due to the increasing number of prefilled drugs being supplied in an auto-injector format, we expect that approximately 20% of all Unifill syringes could be supplied in conjunction with a Unifill Auto-Injector. The development of this range of Unifill Auto-Injectors will significantly increase our ability to penetrate a number of therapeutic markets where patient self-administration is becoming increasingly common," concluded Dr. Mojdeh.
Industry reports project the market for auto-injectors to grow at a CAGR of 17.8% between 2010 and 2015(1), with demand being driven by the development and commercial launch of biologics, biosimilar and other drugs suitable for patient self-injection as well as the enforcement of laws in the U.S., Europe and other emerging markets seeking to prevent needlestick injuries. Therapeutic drug classes where auto-injectors can help improve patient care include multiple sclerosis, allergies, anemia, cancer, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV-AIDS, osteoporosis, fertility and human growth hormone treatments.
During the development program for the Unifill Auto-Injectors, the technology platform was referred to by Unilife as "Project Taipan."
About Unilife CorporationUnilife Corporation (NASDAQ: UNIS / ASX: UNS) is a U.S.-based developer, manufacturer and supplier of advanced drug delivery systems with state-of-the-art facilities in Pennsylvania. Established in 2002, Unilife works with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies seeking innovative devices for use with their parenteral drugs and vaccines. Unilife has developed a broad, differentiated proprietary portfolio of its own injectable drug delivery products, including the Unifill® and Unitract® product lines of safety syringes with automatic, operator controlled needle retraction. Unifill represents the world's first prefilled syringe technology integrating safety within the primary drug container. The products are ideally positioned to help pharmaceutical companies maximize the lifecycle of their injectable drugs and enhance patient care. Unifill syringes, together with other devices that are part of the Unilife technology platform, can either be supplied to pharmaceutical customers ready for use, or customized to address the specific requirements of targeted novel drugs. For more information on Unilife, please visit www.unilife.com.
(1) MarketsandMarkets. Global Injectable Drug Delivery Market. 2010-2015.
Forward-Looking StatementsThis press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements that address operating performance, events or developments that we expect or anticipate will occur in the future are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on management's beliefs and assumptions and on information currently available to our management. Our management believes that these forward-looking statements are reasonable as and when made. However, you should not place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements because such statements speak only as of the date when made. We do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law. In addition, forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results, events and developments to differ materially from our historical experience and our present expectations or projections. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those described in "Item 1A. Risk Factors" and elsewhere in our Annual Report on Form 10-K and those described from time to time in other reports which we file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
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