Rolls-Royce has teamed up with food technology company ChefsFridge Co. to develop ArcticRx, a low-temperature pod for storing and transporting Covid-19 vaccines.
The ArcticRx system aims to support the challenge of vaccinating patients globally in nearly any environment. The long-term ULT (ultra low temperature) pod will support a two-dose vaccine delivery regimen specifically targeting rural, remote and international areas.
Rolls-Royce emerging technologies and innovation lead Allen Barta said that ArcticRx will solve the challenge of maintaining extremely low vaccine temperatures long enough for worldwide transport of two doses.
Current solutions to the gap in the system for transporting and storing doses of Covid-19 vaccines can be expensive, bulky and inaccessible to many regions without resources like electricity and ultra-low temperature storage at vaccination sites. Most shipping coolers can only carry one of two rounds of doses at a time, causing logistics and sustainability issues.
Designed by Rolls-Royce engineers in the company’s LibertyWorks advanced technology unit in Indianapolis, ArcticRx is designed to be be reusable, lightweight, and does not require electricity to maintain stable ultra-low temperatures required for mRNA vaccines. It can be refilled with additional cooling materials, Rolls-Royce added in a statement.
Three models of the final design have been manufactured and tested, Rolls-Royce confirmed, and ChefsFridge is now seeking investment and manufacturing partners.
“People think the problem is over, but we’re not even close,” said M. Shane Bivens, ChefsFridge co-founder. “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 left on the shelf because stable cold chain transportation for extended time periods did not previously exist to move product around the globe.”