Allergic reactions can be very dangerous. A company called Windgap Medical feels that a good alternative to the EpiPen is long overdue and plans to join the auto-injector market with one called Abiliject. It is an automatic epinephrine injector scheduled for release in 2018.
Here are three things about the Abiliject that set it apart from the EpiPen:
1. It’s smaller.
The Abiliject is roughly size of a Bic lighter, which should increase the likelihood that users will carry it at all times. “I have great sympathy and hope that our product will really help people sleep a little better at night, knowing that it’s more likely that they’ll have an epinephrine auto-injector with them,” Windgap co-founder and CEO Christopher Stepanian says.
2. It lasts longer.
An extended shelf life will help Abiliject last for several years thanks to a proprietary method of storing epinephrine in a dried form. The powder will reconstitute into liquid seconds before injection. By comparison, an EpiPen will expire in 18 months in perfect conditions – and can degrade faster when exposed to heat above 86 degrees.
3. It’s easier to use than anything that has come before.
People may quickly forget how to use an EpiPen. “One of the big failure modes for EpiPen is that folks get confused in the heat of the moment,” Stepanian explains. “Maybe they got trained years ago on how to use it or have forgotten, and they inject their thumb by mistake. We saw that as being an opportunity to innovate, to make it pretty obvious which end is the sharp one.”
To use it, you activate it by twisting off an end cap. That signals the dry drug to reconstitute. A trigger will then deliver the drug directly into the thigh muscle.
Windgap has its’ second functional prototype of the Abiliject, and they’re working closely with allergists and patients to help refine the design. It’s too early in production for them to know a ballpark price for it, and they haven’t made any partnerships to help bring it to market.
When they do, they’ll be going up against Mylan’s EpiPen, which controls some 90% of the $1.3 Billion market of auto-injectors. A French company called Sanofi has created the most recent challenger, the Auvi-Q, which is roughly the size of a deck of cards. It also talks to you. They managed to take about 7% of the market over the first year.
What are your thoughts about Abiliject?