SurModics obtains new biodegradable polymers

By Gregory Roumeliotis

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Amino acid

Surface modification firm SurModics has acquired Intralytix's
polyester-amide (PEA) biodegradable polymers, boosting the
company's capacity for specific drug delivery, a capability in high
demand by its customers.

PEA polymers are widely recognised as naturally biodegradable and biocompatible compounds which naturally degrade in the body into amino acid components, the building blocks of proteins.

The acquisition of this technology brings to five the total number of biodegradable polymers suitable for site specific drug delivery that SurModics offers; PolyActive and OctoDEX licensed by Octoplus, SynBiosys licensed by InnoCore, and Eureka, which is internally developed.

Nonetheless, thanks their ability to be to formulated by blending, PEA polymers set themselves apart in that they allow to rapidly fine tune the polymer composition to achieve optimal application-specific performance.

"There is considerable experience with PEA polymers, so they are known and trusted by our customers,"​ Phil Ankeny, chief financial officer and vice president of business development for SurModics, told​.

"PEA polymers are well suited for delivering small molecule drugs."

The company says its collaborative product development model, which includes expertise in coating and characterising coated products, allows it to accelerate customers' speed to market.

What is more, SurModics has experience in formulating polymer blends to optimize functionality for commercial medical applications.

Last month, it licensed its hydrophilic technology to medical device firm Devax for the lubricious coating on its AXXESS Biolimus A-9 eluting bifurcation stent delivery system.

Drug eluting stents have revolutionised the treatment of coronary artery disease, with close to 100 per cent penetration in the US, and 50-60 per cent in the UK.

They have made it feasible for cardiologists to treat increasingly complex lesions in more difficult patient populations such as diabetics.

As a result, there is a need for new technology that will allow the navigation and delivery of stents through patient vasculature.

The Devax AXXESS drug-eluting stent is a conical shaped, self-expanding nickel titanium alloy stent that conforms to the bifurcation anatomy and provides full access to both branches for additional interventional procedures.

The company's AXXESS PLUS trial reported positive results at the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) meeting in October 2005, becoming the first drug-eluting stent designed specifically for bifurcation lesions to publish clinical outcomes.

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