pSivida inks transdermal drug delivery pact

By Kirsty Barnes

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Drug delivery, Pharmacology, Psivida

Australia's pSivida said that an undisclosed US firm is now
evaluating its novel BioSilicon technology with the aim of
developing new transdermal drug delivery systems.

The mystery partner is said to be a global electronics and technology company with experience in the development and production of microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).

During the next twelve months, the two parties will jointly develop and evaluate a range of biodegradable porous silicon structures, including microneedles, for the controlled release of drugs via the transdermal route.

"We are very pleased to have entered into this joint program with a global partner who brings considerable materials experience to compliment our drug delivery expertise,"​ said Dr Roger Brimblecombe, chairman and CEO of pSivida.

With dwindling pipelines and looming patent expiries, big pharma is increasingly turning to cutting edge drug delivery technologies to enhance market potential of new and existing drugs in areas of unmet medical need.

The launch of Pfizer's Exubera this year - the world's first inhalable form of insulin - is a prime example.

In particular there is a significant interest in new transdermal drug delivery methods as they can avoid the use of needle-based injection which are unpopular but currently the only way of delivering a number of drugs, especially those containing larger peptides, proteins and vaccines.

The US transdermal drug delivery market has the potential to reach $4.5bn (€3.5bn) by 2012, according to according to Frost & Sullivan estimations.

pSivida has already attracted considerable attention of late with its BioSilicon drug delivery platform, a modified (porosified or nanostructured) form of elemental silicon for use in controlled-release drug delivery.

Related topics: Ingredients, Delivery technologies

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