Looking back to the history of medicine and diseases, we get to see how fast our methods and treatments are improving. Doctors all around the world are working hard on developing new ways that can cure or at least slow down significantly the processes of various diseases.
In the past, people were dying from common illnesses, that nowadays we consider no threat to human life and even view it as something completely normal and easily curable.
The technology is progressing every day, allowing more in-depth research and new solutions to various problems. For the first time, we are coming closer than ever to curing or even erasing genetic diseases, considered unbeatable before.
What are the cell and gene therapies?
Cell and gene therapies are the newest and most efficient way of battling genetic and cell diseases. Briefly explained, the methods of treatment are done by substituting a mutated gene, that is causing the disease, with a new and healthy one. The process is possible by using a vehicle, called a ‘vector,’ that is genetically engineered to deliver the gene and make the exchange. It can be done either internally (in vivo) or externally from the body (ex vivo).
This way, scientists can prevent or fully cure the illness. While many potential cell and gene therapies are still in the pipeline, a few of these innovative medicines have already been approved by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and are helping patients today. Those who are already on the market are becoming more popular on a worldwide scale and in need of a particular logistics chain. Proper storage and careful transportation are strictly required in order to preserve these dangerous goods.
The outdated method
Firstly it is essential to distinguish the different types of organisms that are of great importance. There are three main categories for temperature preferences thriving and growing: Thermophiles, Mesophiles, and Psychrophiles. As would be expected, the human microbiota and pathogens are categorized as mesophiles (“middle–loving”). They are adapted the best to temperatures at around 37°C, which is the exact temperature of the human body.
The method that has been used so far in logistics is cryo-shipment, which is done at nearly -180 °C and might be soon outdated due to its harsh nature. Recent indicators are showing the seriousness of the damage caused to the cells during their transportation. Since the environment that is most suitable for the cells is the core temperature, the risk while applying cryopreservation becomes very high and threatens the structural integrity of the cells. No living organism can survive cold this low, and some cells do not either, not even after heating up back to their average temperature of 37 °C. During cryopreservation, cell survival can only be achieved by using cryoprotective agents. In low concentration, they can prevent the damages caused by slow cooling, but unfortunately, not all cells and tissues respond equally to a given cryopreservation protocol. Differences in their physical and biological make-up generate various responses to the cryopreservation process leading to differences in activity on subsequent defrosting.
The new solution
With modern technology, NelumBox can preserve the cells and tissues during short-term transportation at their preferred temperature of 37 °C, without causing any complications. Keeping the temperature that suits them best, medicines and treatment supplies can be transported safely and securely, without any harm. Depending on the transported substance, the temperature requirements may vary from refrigeration at between 2-8 °C for slowing down the processes to keeping them fully alive at 37 °C. NelumBox can provide the needed temperature to preserve the cells during their short-term transportation.
The used cryo-shipment can be dangerous not only to the transported supplements but also to the courier and the surrounding environment. The package requires specialized courier and cannot be opened or touched without special equipment due to its low temperature. If not handled properly, the transported container can cause damage to both the cells and their surroundings. Another negative factor regarding the shipment is the size of the boxes. It prevents the shipment from being easily portable, which leads to slowing down the process of logistics significantly. In addition to the heaviness, the containers are required to be handled as Dangerous Goods. This fact adds to the complexity of the issue and raises the cost of the shipment. All combined, these factors make the process unnecessarily hard, and in most cases, almost inaccessible.
No more complications
With NelumBox, the solutions for these problems are given right away. For some medications and supplements, transportation can be brought up to no complications in a fast and easy way. NelumBox is in no need of a particular courier since it keeps the cells and tissues on the average temperature of 37 °C. It has personalized access with optional RFID-lock, which also allows us to trace and control the access digitally. It holds no risk for the transporter or the environment. As a pharmaceutical fridge, it is very easily portable due to its size, that fits even in the cabins of an airplane, and has an optional airplane mode. Furthermore, it does not need additional handling procedures, since it is already fully certified – all of that reducing the cost significantly, making NelumBox the easiest and most affordable one as of today.
Today every aspect of our lives is getting more and more dependent on technology, and the medical supply chain is no exception. With innovation, the process becomes much easier and faster, without causing any damages nor complications. The key to a secure shipment is through traceability, and high technical performance, which we aim for with the development of NelumBox every single day.