There is an unmet need for new drug delivery systems for infants in low and middle-income developing countries. The JustMilk device is a thin, disposable silicone nipple shield, modified to hold a dispersible therapeutic tablet, which delivers the medication directly to the infant via the flow of breast milk.
How they’re disrupting
The silicone nipple-shield device holds a pre-measured amount of medicines or nutrients, which is delivered safely and effectively to breastfeeding babies without the need of refrigeration or portable water. A wide range of active pharmaceutical ingredients can be delivered to infants using the device, including antibiotics, antimalarials, antiretrovirals, vitamins, nutrients, and probiotics. The limited company focuses on western applications so that profits can be used in furthering the social mission of the non-profit ‘JustMilk’, focused on low-resource settings.
The device has the potential to prevent conditions responsible for 70% of 9 million child deaths a year.
Investments and future
Invented by a design team in 2008 and further developed by Cambridge PhD students Theresa Maier and Rebekah Scheuerle, the JustMilk device won the UK’s Pitch at Palace award in 2016, at which the company also pitched for an investment of £150,000, a pharmaceutical-company partner and a brand ambassador.