UK-based oral drug development company, Phoqus, has joined forces with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) to start clinical studies of a novel drug delivery system. The increasing demand for modified release drugs that can improve patient compliance has prompted Phoqus and GSK to collaborate on the project and the involvement of the drug major is a real endorsement of the promise of the technology. The drug delivery market projected to reach a value of $135bn (€103bn) by 2010, is driven by a demand for modified release technologies. Clinical studies are underway for Phoqus' Qtrol delivery system, run by GSK. It is hoped that the new formulation will improve patient compliance by reducing number of doses needed. A feasibility study has been completed and the aim of the pharmacokinetic study is to "determine the release profile and bioavailability of the drug from the formulation." Andy Jones, CEO of Phoqus, said: "This deal is a significant milestone for Phoqus, and being with one of the world's major pharmaceutical and healthcare companies, is a further validation of our technology and shows the increasing demand for modified release drugs." Qtrol is a dual-purpose delivery system: it is a matrix that holds the active drug and consists of an insoluble coating that controls compound release. Qtrol is easy and quick to manufacture - reducing costs - and can generate complex release profiles that are difficult for generics companies to copy. Phoqus has previously entered into licensing agreement with Cardinal Health, which will accelerate the use of Phoqus' technologies by the pharmaceutical industry. In return, Cardinal Health will provide marketing and contract manufacturing of products based on these technologies.