The wearable drug delivery market is anticipated to increase significantly over the next few years, as the technology fills important gaps in our Healthcare infrastructure.[i] Key drivers toward this growth include development of new biologic therapies (e.g. immuno-oncology and autoimmune drugs), introduction of biosimilars including innovations around delivery technology and route of administration, a demand to deliver therapies with less frequent injections, increasing interest in novel device technology in Asia,[iv] and reducing the costs associated with clinic or Healthcare Practitioner-administered treatment that could be performed by the patients themselves.
A small number of marketed oncology drugs have already switched from intravenous (“IV”) to subcutaneous (“SC”) route of administration, which has the potential for delivery from a wearable injector. Further marketed IV immuno-oncology drugs are currently in clinical trials in SC form. This delivery format is ideal for fixed dose, high volume pharmaceuticals, as wearable injectables alleviate the labor intensive features of treatment. In addition, wearable bolus injectors can be cost effective and more comfortable, decreasing costs associated with oncology chair time, costs charged to the patient, and offer increased comfort to not only the patient, but to the care provider, who would need to otherwise deliver 11-50 mL of high viscosity medication by hand, which is time-consuming and extremely uncomfortable for both parties
The immuno-oncology space is perhaps a longer-term opportunity for wearable injectors as we await further reformulated drugs to pass successfully through clinical trials. In the shorter term, opportunities are emerging in chronic conditions building upon those already available. As biologic drugs become more complex, with greater volume and viscosity, pharmaceutical companies may turn to a wearable device with a larger payload as the required dose exceeds that which current autoinjectors can deliver. This has the potential for saving money through fewer devices disposed as the main aim is to provide a drug that requires less frequent, albeit larger, injections.
For patients, wearable bolus injectors offer benefits of being disguised, allowing the comfort of going about one’s normal routine and participating in the daily events of life, without having to break the connection of their treatment regimen. Wearable bolus injectors will feel less invasive to daily life, and allow for a transition from an intravenous treatment to one of ambulatory care, allowing patients to achieve a sense of normalcy they wouldn’t achieve with traditional intravenous therapies. These everyday moments: reading to one’s children and grandchildren, baking cookies, playing board games, or sharing snacks over a movie, are all moments that are no longer missed when treatment is shifted to a wearable bolus injector format.
Wearable bolus injectors that operate without battery components [v] may offer additional benefits to patients. Devices relying on battery-free operation are likely to be quieter and more discrete, allowing the patient greater freedom to go about their lives, and to feel seen for who they are, instead of feeling identified by their disease or chronic condition. Patients are more likely to feel comfortable using wearable injectors that lack unpleasant battery chemicals and metallic components, and may take pride in the knowledge that they are contributing less waste to the environment, compared to other drug delivery options.
The future of drug delivery is truly exciting, with emerging developments in the field of wearable bolus injectors. In the coming years, and with the collaboration of device developers and manufacturers, patients can look forward to more options for maintenance and improvement of their health, which may allow them greater freedom to go about their daily lives, without compromising treatment regimens.
[i] “Wearable Injectors Market Size Worth $18.3 Billion by 2028”, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/wearable-injectors-market-size-worth-18-3-billion-by-2028–cagr-17-2-grand-view-research-inc-301254657.html, accessed September 29, 2021.
[ii] “The Evolving Dynamics of Large Volume Wearable Injectors Market”, https://www.rootsanalysis.com/blog/dynamics-of-large-volume-wearable-injectors/, accessed October 3, 2021.
[iii] “Wearable Injectors Market by Product Type”, https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/Market-Reports/wearable-injector-market-100771004.html, accessed October 3, 2021.
[iv] “Asia Pacific Wearable Injectors Market Forecast 2027”, https://www.theinsightpartners.com/reports/asia-pacific-wearable-injectors-market/, accessed September 29, 2021.
[v] https://www.ondrugdelivery.com/ September 2021 | ONdrugDELIVERY | Issue 124