This article was originally published in Start Up
Ocelus Ltd. hopes to extend transdermal delivery to macromolecules. Its early-stage technology combines a microchip reservoir with microneedles that could painlessly inject precise yet tiny amounts of a drug into the skin at hundreds of sites per square centimeter. This could make administration simpler, and by reducing the pain associated with injectable drugs, improve patient compliance.
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Start-ups continue to seize opportunities for delivering new and existing drugs transdermally. They are also poised to capitalize on next-generation technologies for delivering macromolecules through the skin. In this issue, we profile AllTranz, Ocelus, Quinnova Pharmaceuticals and Syntropharma.
AllTranz Inc. has technology suitable for making pro-drugs out of opioids and cannabinoids, and it thinks these can be developed as treatments for a wide range of indications, from neuropathic pain to addiction, pancreatitis, and more. The company is leading, however, with a gel formulation that combines cannabidiol and penetration enhancers to treat the pain of osteoarthritis as well as strains and sprains.
Quinnova Pharmaceuticals Inc.'s Proderm Technology delivery system is a water-lipid-based formulation designed to apply active ingredients to the skin for the treatment of inflammatory skin diseases. Several Proderm products are already on the market. The start-up's TwinDerm technology - a two-step, single-unit topical system that allows delivery of two products in sequence from a single pouch - is designed to make treatment simpler and more convenient, therefore improving patient compliance.