Endo gains battery powered transdermal patch tech in $105m acquisition

By Dan Stanton

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Pharmacology, Transdermal patch

Endo buys NuPathe for $105m
Endo buys NuPathe for $105m
Endo has obtained NuPathe’s transdermal migraine patch and its iontophoresis drug delivery technology as part of the $105m (€76m) acquisition.

The company announced yesterday it would be enhancing its branded drug portfolio with the acquisition of NuPathe’s disposable, single-use, battery-powered transdermal patch Zecuity which became the first prescription patch to be approved for migraines by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) earlier this year.

Endo’s CEO Rajiv De Silva said the firm hoped to launch the drug in the first half of 2014, following the closure of the deal by “leveraging our existing commercial expertise in pain and migraine management and the current infrastructure of our branded pharmaceuticals business overall.”


The patch works using Philadelphia-based pharma firm NuPathe’s proprietary drug delivery technology SmartRelief, allowing the transporting of molecules that are not normally able to be delivered passively through the skin with the application of mild battery power.

The iontophoresis technology, the company says, does not rely on diffusion for delivery but works due to the patch containing two reservoirs, one with the drug in and the other with salt. A low current causes positively charged molecules of the drug to travel out of the skin into the bloodstream in a form of electrolysis.

Iontophoresis is not unique to NuPathe, with several other firms also looking to deliver proteins and peptides through the skin using similar platforms. IsisIQ, for example, received $3m of funding to develop its technology in 2010​, whilst Incline Therapeutics is working on its fentanyl iontophoretic transdermal system, IONSYS.


The acquisition will also see Endo acquire NuPathe’s Long-Acting Delivery (LAD) platform which hopes to deliver drugs via an injection of a small implant made up of the API and commonly available medical polymers just below the skin.

Though this polymer matrix is yet to have entered human trials, the company says it has the potential to treat Parkinson’s Disease by offering continuous delivery, as well as Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder by addressing the issue of non-compliance.

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