University of Florida spin-out Prometheon launched its #Nopricks campaign on the Indiegogo crowdfunding site last month, explaining that the money raised will help it “replace painful needle injections with convenient, simple, multi-day insulin patches.”
Prometheon’s candidate products are based on its Topicon platform, which consists of a patch infused with a thermosensitive polymer.
At room temperate the polymer is stable and keeps any drugs with which it is mixed in solid phase, but when the patches are applied to the skin the polymer melts into a dermo-adhesive gel that acts as a reservoir capable of steadily delivering drugs through the skin.
Preclinical tests indicate Prometheon’s TopiconDM Diabetes Therapy reduces glucose levels more effectively and consistently than insulin injections, however, only 7 rats were involved in the study.
The idea behind the #Nopricks crowdfunding effort is to give Prometheon enough money to buy and house animals for trials and – if development progresses – pay a contract research organisation (CRO) to validate the research.
Prometheon is hoping to raise $1m, $771,798 of which will be spent on product development with the remainder being used for process development, programme management and operating expenses. At the time of writing the firm had raised $5669.
Crowdfunding has been around for a few years, but as yet few drugmakers and medical technology companies have used it to try and raise cash to fund product development programmes.
Prometheon joins vaccine developer Batu Biologics, which is raising money to take its candidate lung cancer vaccine ValloVax into clinical trials , as the only other member of the pharma industry to have launched a campaign on the Indiegogo platform.