A US-based innovation unit of UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce has designed an ultra-low temperature cold transport pod for vaccines, a design that was then developed jointly with specialist US company ChefsFridge. The innovation team that designed the pod, which is named ArcticRx, is based in the Indianapolis area of the US state of Indiana, as is ChefsFridge.
The ArticRx pod is intended specifically to transport vaccines that need to be kept at very low temperatures and administered in two doses. What makes it different is that it can maintain ultra-low temperatures for the long-term and in an entirely passive manner. It thus fills a gap in the vaccine transport chain, being intended for use in remote, rural and developing regions where electricity is unavailable. The ArcticRx is also lightweight and reusable, and can be refilled with more cooling materials.
“This new vaccine delivery system developed jointly by Rolls-Royce and ChefsFridge will solve the significant technological challenge of maintaining extremely low vaccine temperatures,” affirmed Rolls-Royce Emerging Technologies and Innovation lead Allen Barta. “Vaccines need to be kept ultra cold and for long enough to transport them worldwide – and not just one, but two doses of vaccines. Rolls-Royce is proud to bring our innovation to bear on this difficult and crucial challenge, and join ChefsFridge in the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“From the beginning it seemed a natural fit for our creative approach at ChefsFridge Co[mpany],” enthused ChefsFridge co-founder Stuart Lowry. “The passion from the team at Rolls-Royce melded seamlessly with our energy for creating a way to help with the pandemic, using the toolbox of cooling engineers, innovation, and the build-it-from-scratch approach. It was not only exciting, but possibly revolutionary, in terms of solving this vital cold chain issue.”
Three ArcticRx models have so far been built and tested. ChefsFridge, which is able to quickly scale-up funding, is currently looking for investment and manufacturing partners, to bring the pod to the market.
“People think the problem is over, but we’re not even close,” stressed ChefsFridge co-founder M Shane Bivens. “Initially, we’re looking at immediate global challenges that need to be met. With the help we’re seeking from additional investors and manufacturing partners, the possibilities from this point are enormous for both solving this current pandemic, and shipping and storing other vital medical and non-medical supplies. There are so many life improving medications pharma leaves on the shelf because stable cold chain transportation for extended time periods did not previously exist to move product around the globe.”