CHANGING THE WORLD ONE PAINLESS INJECTION AT A TIME
For many people, getting a needle is unpleasant at best,but that could soon be a thing of the past. PKA SoftTouch has spent almost a decade developing a painless Micro-Needle.And as Renee Rodgers reports, it’s on the verge of hitting the marketplace.
Three-way partnership out of Peterborough, ON sets stage for radical change in injection drug delivery for patients worldwide
Peterborough, ON --A partnership of three Peterborough Ontario-based companies is set to start production of its final generation of a unique patented micro-needle drug delivery system, using state-of-the-art equipment unavailable anywhere else in the world.
“The partnership of PKA SoftTouch, Steelworks Design and Westmount Pharmacy signifies a huge leap forward to actual profitability,” says Dick Crawford, PKA Chair of the Board and CEO, as he announced the long-awaited initiation of the micro-needle’s production capability.
PKA’s small and inexpensive Micro-Needle is a unique device that lets patients inject only into the skin layers where there are no nerves and no pain. The company began research in October 2005 to design and develop a cost-effective, painless, minimally invasive medical device technology for the treatment of chronic diseases such as diabetes.
Steelworks Design engineers have worked tirelessly in partnership with PKA SoftTouch to develop and construct the micro needle’s drug capsule (bubble) production equipment, now installed and ready for use in Westmount Pharmacy’s unique sterile facility.
“This is the longest standing project our company has ever had, and it’s not the kind of project we get to do every day,” says Don Barnet, Steelworks president. “It’s great to see the micro needle get some real traction and take off the way we thought it always would.”
He adds, “You really feel like you are part of something special, developed right here in Peterborough. If it takes off and goes to market in a big way we hope to build a factory around the device. This means a huge project for us and a big win for Peterborough, and I really do think this can happen.”
Steelworks Design is a full-service Engineering firm located in Peterborough, specializing in machine design, research and development, product design, process improvements, and design/build of production automation and custom lifting devices.
The third partner, Murad Younis, owns the award-winning compounding pharmacy Westmount Pharmacy and has built a sterile facility on his premises where first production runs are set to begin.
“I am very proud to be part of this kind of passionate healthcare related program, and to have our experience and resources available,” he says.
“Production of the micro-needle in our specialized sterile facility in our Banting Legacy Hall marks a big step in offering patients in Ontario and beyond a good alternative to traditional medication injections.”
Younis notes that many new drugs now under development by pharmaceutical development interests, which will address immunity and genetics, cannot be administered by mouth.
“The new drugs coming down the pipeline are a perfect fit with this technology.”
“We’ve completed our test runs on the equipment and are ready to begin production,” says Crawford.
“This new generation of micro-needle device eliminates the need to depress the skin while injecting medication. It can now suit many sizes of fingers, from those of a truck driver to an 11 year old child’s,” Crawford notes.
While insulin trials using the device are expected in about six months, the device’s first production run of the prototype device will be for TB test serum. This production run, says Crawford, will demonstrate PKA’s ability to meet Health Canada standards.
“We have to manufacture the device in a sterile atmosphere so that the liquid contained in the bubble and the needle that penetrates the skin are sterile.”
To date, PKA’s research and development has been financed by CFDC grants and private local investors who believe in the company’s vision.
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Recognition Award 2014
The County of Peterborough presented Dick Crawford the 2014 Recognition Award for Business Leadership / Entrepreneurial Innovation for PKA SoftTouch Corp. on May 23, 2014
Entrepreneur Innovation Award 2011
We are proud to receive the East Kawartha Chamber of Commerce Award for Entrepreneur Innovation.
Innovation / Research Development Excellence Award 2010
Peterborough Chamber of Commerce Excellence Award for Innovation/Research Development
We were honored to receive this award . The PKA micro-needle received accolades from local businesses for its novel drug delivery system allowing painless injections of prescribed pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and antibiotics.