‘First liquid aspirin’ maker seeks licensing deal

By Fiona BARRY

- Last updated on GMT

Liquid aspirin is safer than effervescent competitors, its maker claims
Liquid aspirin is safer than effervescent competitors, its maker claims

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Innovate Pharmaceuticals has launched what it claims is the world’s first shelf-stable liquid aspirin, and says it is on the look-out for a licensing partner for the “$500m” market.

Commercial aspirin delivery is currently available in solid oral forms, capsules, suppositories, dispersible and disintegrating tablets, powder, and as oral gum.

Innovate worked with chemicals company Croda for five years on engineering excipients to make what it calls a “truly liquid​” aspirin. The pharma firm claims its product allows faster and more complete absorption than other delivery routes, “resulting in potentially drastic reductions in gastric side effects.​”

Gastrointestinal problems are a common side effect of aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, including bleeding in the most severe cases. Innovate said soluble forms of aspirin currently on the market “are generally unstable suspensions containing particulate matter​” which can irritate the stomach, but that its own version contains no particulates.

The private UK company said it is now seeking a global partner to out-license and market its liquid aspirin with the help of consultancy Deloitte.

‘Holy grail’?

Innovate’s chief medical officer Jimmy Stuart commented, “This is the realisation of five years of very hard work. What we have developed some would regard as the ‘holy grail’ of Aspirin research.​”

CEO Simon Cohen added that there is a large patient population for liquid aspirin delivery:

A significant proportion of potential aspirin users cannot tolerate its gastric side effects.

Liquid aspirin will become the natural choice for this group and our product, as the only truly stable liquid aspirin, when commercialized, represents a $500m-a-year business to any potential licensing partner, with only a modest 15-20% of the addressable market.​”

As well as pain treatment, aspirin can be used to prevent and treat the effects of heart attack and stroke. A conference abstract published this week claims the analgesic may have benefits to cancer patients, although the UK’s National Health Service warned​ there is as yet insufficient scientific evidence to draw this claim.

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