A new tool could make fear of needles a thing of the past for anyone who regularly receives drug injections. NovaXS Biotech, which was highlighted by TechCrunch, has announced that it’s raised $1.5 million to build an injection gun that uses pressure and electroporation rather than needles to administer drugs.
Needle-free — NovaXS injection gun — currently called Telosis — is designed to be handheld, with connections to a cloud platform “that collects patient information for physicians, like injection time, frequency, dosage volume, and medication temperature,” TechCrunch writes.
The real magic is how the device gets around using needles. With a combination of liquid pressure and “a brief high-voltage pulse,” the tool is able to deliver drugs into your body in just 0.3 seconds. NovaXS Biotech claims Telosis can reach as far as a normal subcutaneous or intramuscular injection.
The whole process sounds unusual but it’s actually taking advantage of electroporation, a technique commonly used in gene therapy. The electric pulse loosens up your body’s cell membrane, making it more permeable than normal, and allowing the drug molecules to pass through and be absorbed more thoroughly. NovaXS’ injector gun, assuming it’s successful, could make the technique something that’s easy enough for patients to do at home.
Obvious risk — There’s a long journey from investment to an actual working device your grandma could use. NovaXS plans to use the money it’s raised to “work on the safety and stability of its products, apply for FDA clearance, and put together its core management team,” TechCrunch writes. The company's initial focus will be using its injection gun for in vitro fertilization and gene therapy applications, but more common use cases like diabetes treatments are a long-term goal.
There’s no telling if 10 years from now anyone will be administering insulin with Telosis — biotech startups can fail for a variety of reasons, sometimes all at the same time, if Theranos is any indication — but NovaXS’ idea is fascinating. My arm is ready and waiting for a shot from that Mass Effect-ass injection gun.