Ibuprofen gels not a patch on new delivery tech say UK developers

By Gareth Macdonald contact

- Last updated on GMT

Medherant develops new delivery patch tech for pain drug delivery
Medherant develops new delivery patch tech for pain drug delivery

Related tags: Pharmacology

UK researchers have developed an ibuprofen patch they claim offers better dosage control than gel formulations of the pain drug.

The patch – which was developed by researchers at the University of Warwick and spinout company Medherant – consists of a transparent layer that is stuck to the skin with an adhesive polymer into which the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) - in this case ibuprofen - is incorporated.

Medherant CEO Nigel Davis told us the approach enables precise dosage control because the patches have “a defined size with a set amount of drug.​”

He contrasted this with topical ibuprofen formulations that allow “patients to spread imprecise volumes of gel over different surface areas​.”

Higher drug loads

The matrix technology – which is owned Medherant – is capable holding a significant amount of API – up to 30% by weight – Davis explained.

He added that resulting 'drug load' is between 5 and ten times higher than that found in currently available patches and gels.

The adhesive is exclusively licensed for transdermal use from Bostik, a unit of chemicals firm Arkema.

UK and global plans

Medherant and its academic partners intend to launch the first product to incorporate the technology – an over-the-counter pain treatment – sometime in the next two years Davis said adding that the organisations plan to “seek approval outside UK​.”

He also stressed that the technology has wider application, explaining that: “We know that a lot of other APIs can be incorporated in our patches​” and confirmed that Medherant is interested in partnering with the pharmaceutical industry.

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