Novozymes' HA Delays API Release and Boosts Drug Half-Life

By Gareth Macdonald

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Drug delivery technologies Pharmaceutical drug

Delays, good sometimes
Delays, good sometimes
Delays are annoying. Whether you are a journalist trying to ask a few quick questions without involving teams of public relations people or a driver stuck in a traffic jam, delays are normally a bad thing.

One notable exception to this general rule is in the field of drug delivery, where the ability to delay active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) release can be a big plus for patients and drug manufacturers according to Novozymes Biopharma spokesman Hans Ole Klingenberg.

He told that: "Controlled drug delivery technologies have become increasingly attractive to solve many problems of traditional drug administration, by regulating the rate as well as the special localization of therapeutic agents​."

Earlier this month Novozymes announced it had managed to increase the in vitro​ release time of the corticosteroid dexamethasone from less than 10 minutes, when in PBS buffer, to 15 hours by formulating the drug with its hyaluronic acid (HA) hydrogel product, Hyasis.

The firm, which unveiled that data at the Controlled Release Society’s annual meeting in Hawaii, US, also showed in rat studies that the blood concentration of the Hyasis-formulated dexamethasone was stable hours after injection, which is something that is not achieved when the drug is injected with PBS.

Klingenberg set the findings in context, telling us they prove that using Hyasis "dosing frequency can be reduced and more stable levels of drugs within the body can be maintained, contributing to improved patient compliance. In general terms, a drug administrated three time per day can be reduced to two or possible one administration daily.

Pipeline products

We first heard about Hyasis at CPhI in 2008​ when Novozymes’ use of a Bacillus subtilis​-based production system- other HAs are either derived from rooster combs or extracted using solvents from Streptococcus​ bacteria - won the event’s top innovation award.

But despite the award, the latest data and its animal product and solvent-free credentials, as yet Hyasis is not used in any approved drug products.

However, this will soon change according to Klingenberg who told us that: “Farmigea is developing an eye drop with a corticosteroid with Hyasis, which will probably reach the market within one year.

Novozymes’ is also currently working with several Pharmaceutical companies who are developing drug products with Hyasis. The timescales for these finished products to reach the market is several years​.”

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