The technology behind that inkjet printer on your desk may soon deliver drugs painlessly into your body, potentially replacing the need for traditional hypodermic needles.
Hewlett-Packard Co. said Tuesday it has signed a deal with an Irish company to develop and sell a new type of drug delivery platform that uses tiny microneedles embedded in patches applied to the skin, not unlike nicotine patches used by smokers who want to quit.
The system is based on the same technology developed by HP to make inkjet printers to heat up ink and precisely squirt it onto paper.
Under the agreement, HP will license the technology to Crospon, a small Irish medical-device maker. Over the next several years, Crospon will seek government approvals and secure agreements with pharmaceutical companies, with plans to start selling a patchlike drug delivery system in about four years.
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