Technology

Topical drug delivery

Topical delivery of pharmaceutical products via gels, creams, ointments and patches is an alternative route of administration to oral and injectable drug delivery. The vast majority of topical drug delivery systems, including the Acrux technology, rely upon the addition of chemical penetration enhancers to passively improve the transport of drugs through the skin.

The enhancers Acrux uses are FDA approved and do not require the skin to be actively disrupted. Acrux technology has created a Patchless Patch, whereby the drug resides within the skin and not on it. The platform is applicable to various therapeutic indications including hormonal deficiencies, central nervous system disorders, contraception, pain and dermatological conditions.

The application of Acrux knowhow is suitable for developing generic drugs that are no longer patent protected as well as branded drugs that are differentiated from existing marketed drugs.

Acrux technology advantages

Acrux’s technology has advantages over existing topical products, in that the technology can enable the use of selected drugs that would otherwise be prevented from commercialisation due to poor properties for oral administration.

The technology has a number of features that provide an improved form of therapy to patients including:

  • Control of drug levels within the blood that minimises potentially toxic peaks or ineffective troughs
  • Reduction in the frequency of drug administration resulting from the slow release of the drug into the blood stream
  • Convenience of use compared with injections, tablets and patches

Patches have the disadvantage of being visible on the skin as a visual cue of an existing medical condition. However, oral delivery may cause the drug to be deactivated by digestion in the gut or by metabolism in the liver after absorption. Alternatively, the drug may have an unpleasant taste, or must be taken several times a day. There are also groups of patients who are unable to swallow pills, including older people and the very young. In such cases, drugs can be administered by alternative means including transportation through the skin.