Drug delivery company, MedPharm, will carry out a licensed evaluation for a variety of products in the dermatology market with its MedSpray technology, which promises greater benefits for the same cost as semisolid preparations.
The UK firm says its new partnership with a "leading international pharmaceutical company," whose name it will not yet disclose, will lead to a faster and more sustained delivery of drugs.
It also believes the greater ease and convenience Medspray offers will appeal more to consumers and the young in particular.
Moreover, reformulating existing drugs by producing them in spray form also extends their patent life, making it an attractive option for drug companies.
MedPharm is tightlipped about the drugs that are being tested during an initial three-month evaluation period.
But its CEO, Andrew Muddle, told In-pharmatechnologist.com that the drugs evaluated are already available in the global market in the form of creams, gels and ointments and that their portfolio of indications is wide.
"At the end of this evaluation period we are looking to produce a license agreement," he said.
"The manufacturing cost of MedSpray is going to be equivalent to current preparations, but it will offer higher margins in that products can be sold more expensively because of the added value."
Spray technology is rapidly becoming the delivery method of choice in the dermatology market, whose demand for new topical and systemic products is valued at $5.9 billion (€5 billion).
The drug formulation industry has seen a 38 per cent growth in the past five years and is expected to continue to boom, since there is now a real trend in drug companies turning to specialist formulation companies to find different ways of marketing both new and old compounds by coming up with new formulations.
The company will receive an undisclosed fee for the evaluation, which it says also shows considerable promise for transdermal delivery.
The private agreement comes a month after MedPharm received a grant from the UK's Department of Trade and Industry to produce its new spray treatment for eczema, expected to be available in the US by 2009.
Anesthetics, antivirals and anti-inflammatory drugs are just some of the products that can be delivered with MedSpray.
MedSpray works by providing a sprayable pharmaceutical formulation capable of forming a microthin film on topical administration that simply washes off after use.