Nanotech deal to boost oral bioavailability

By Nick Taylor

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pre-clinical development, Innovation

Yissum is collaborating with Aurum, Ventures MKI to develop a nanotechnology controlled release delivery platform, which is designed to increase the bioavailability of orally administered lipophilic drugs.

The technology is currently in preclinical development and is believed to be able to bypass intestinal and liver metabolic filters to increase bioavailability without altering the drug molecule contained within.

Yissum unveiled the collaboration at ILSI-Biomed Israel 2009 and will now conduct a preclinical feasibility study, sponsored by Aurum, to assess the safety and efficacy of the technology using an existing, intravenously (IV) delivered drug.

Yehuda Yarmut, deputy CEO of Yissum, said: "The ability to deliver lipophilic drugs orally while bypassing specific potent barriers in the intestine and the liver carries tremendous potential​.”

The technology was developed at Hebrew University's School of Pharmacy and taken on by Yissum, which is the technology transfer company for the university.

Yarmut added: “Prof Benita, a seasoned inventor and entrepreneur and co-founder of Novagali SA, one of Yissum's most promising spin-offs, has once again demonstrated his ingenuity in developing a novel mechanism addressing many unmet medical needs​."

From IV to oral

Use of lipophilic drugs can be limited by their poor bioavailability and the difficulties caused by some that activate an intestinal pump barrier and are metabolised.

If delivered orally the efficacy of these drugs is limited and IV, which improves bioavailability, is less convenient than oral administration.

Previous preclinical studies on tacrolimus, a poorly adsorbed immunosuppressant, have demonstrated that the technology can more than double bioavailability.

Dan Gelvan, managing director for life sciences of Aurum, added: "We are very excited with the potential of the technology to offer a significant breakthrough in the oral administration of many drugs and encouraged by the pre-clinical results​.

We are looking forward to the results of the initial part of our collaboration which we believe will provide a novel more convenient and safer therapeutic approach compared to intravenous injections​."

Related topics: Ingredients

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