by Amy Keller
Updated 1 years ago
Moving the Needle
The inventor of a single-use syringe turns his attention to prefilled injection devices.
In the 1980s, Marc Koska invented a single-use syringe called the K1 that breaks if anyone attempts to refill and reuse it. Adoption was slow, but since it was introduced, Koska’s syringe and others like it have saved millions of lives by preventing the spread HIV, hepatitis and other pathogens.
Today, the British inventor (now co-founder of a Connecticut-based company called ApiJect) is promoting a different type of injection device — a prefilled, single-use, plastic injector that delivers a vaccine or medication to a patient with a squeeze.
ApiJect’s injectors are manufactured using what’s known as a blow-fill-seal method. Molten plastic resin is poured into a mold, filled with liquid medication and sealed in one continuous process.
As it awaits FDA approval, ApiJect has opened a 16,000-sq.-ft. technology development center in Oakland, on the outskirts of Orlando, where it will collaborate with pharmaceutical and biotech companies and be able to tap into engineering talent at the University of Central Florida.
Jay Walker, a co-founder and CEO of ApiJect, says production of the injectors can be scaled up quickly in the event of a pandemic or other emergency. “All you need is pharma graded plastic resin, a needle hub and you’re ready to go,” says Walker, who is best known as a co-founder of Priceline. He says ApiJect will double its Florida footprint by the end of the year.
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- Fairwinds Credit Union completed its acquisition of Oviedo-based Citizens Bank of Florida, growing Fairwinds’ assets to more than $4.6 billion, boosting its commercial portfolio to $602 million and nearly doubling the credit union’s number of commercial bankers. Fairwinds is acquiring six Citizens Bank branches as part of the deal and will retain all current Citizens Bank employees. In other news, the credit union’s philanthropic arm, the Fairwinds Foundation, recently gave $250,000 to 12 community organizations in Central Florida.
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