Ulrich Grau, Co-Founder & Chairman
While technologies for sustained delivery of drugs have a long history of success, major challenges remain: sustained delivery to the eye, of both topical and injectable medications, as well as parenteral sustained delivery of certain types of drugs, such as poorly soluble molecules or biologics. Moreover, there is a high need for delivery of such molecules over the course of months for better patient compliance and potentially improved therapeutic outcomes. Having a wealth of experience in therapeutics development, i-novion applies its proprietary PTS technology platform to eye diseases such as glaucoma. According to Ulrich Grau, Co-founder and Chairman of i-novion, “if one tries to modify the pharmacokinetic features of a drug in an eye drop you work against the rapid drainage of the applied drop through the nasolacrimal tract and against blinking motion and further drainage by enhanced tear production, leading normally to the rapid disappearance of the drug from the ocular surface. When you apply a gel or more viscous liquid that sticks to the surface, vision may be blurred or the patient may experience discomfort. These effects not only limit dosing accuracy, but these conflicting requirements are difficult to overcome. However, with our PTSsol nanotechnology we have an elegant solution to the complex problem of sustained topical delivery to the eye.”
i-novion leverages its proprietary nanotechnology platform termed PTSgel and PTSsol to develop novel therapeutic and pharmaceutical products. Both PTSgel and PTSsol have the proven ability to provide tunable, sustained delivery, which positions them as leading edge in the market. PTSgel is a thermosensitive composition, a liquid at room temperature and solid gel when exposed to body temperature. As the active ingredient is released slowly from the hydrogel depot, PTSgel is suitable for subcutaneous, intramuscular, intravitreal or intra-articular injection via a 27-31 gauge needle.
With our PTSsol nanotechnology we have an elegant solution to the complex problem of sustained topical delivery to the eye
PTS polymers are biocompatible and biodegradable. PTSgel technology renders relatively short-lived molecules to act in a sustained manner without affecting their native properties.
PTSsol is a non-, or slow-gelling, versatile, non-irritating carrier that solubilizes both hydrophobic and hydrophilic molecules for sustained delivery applied topically to the eye (as an example). “Our nanotechnology provides for sustained release of a drug, enabling less frequent dosing, which is significant for topical ocular, dermatologic, otic, and other applications, given that current formulations of these drugs often need to be dosed multiple times per day” says Grau.
To exemplify the capability of i-novion’s proprietary platform, Grau cites a study in dogs conducted by Dr. Brian Gilger of North Carolina State University, who is an advisor to the company. The glaucoma medication brinzolamide is commonly given in combination with a prostaglandin analog and reduces the production of aqueous humour, thereby lowering intraocular pressure (IOP). Brinzolamide is available as a one percent suspension in 2.5 to 15 ml bottles and is dosed 2 to 3 times per day. i- novion has reformulated the drug in PTSsol as a clear liquid at 2.5 percent for once a day application. Dr. Gilger’s study demonstrated that once a day PTSsol-brinzolamide is equivalent to 3 times daily conventional brinzolamide. In patients, this would allow a prostaglandin analog and brinzolamide to be dosed once in the morning for effective IOP control.
Along the path of innovation, i-novion is collaborating within the pharma community to provide better solutions for their proprietary drugs while developing its portfolio of already established drug candidates internally. In addition, the company is also working on continuous improvement of its technology capabilities to increase the scope of its applications.