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Spenser highlights chitosan advantages for XR delivery

By Gareth Macdonald , 31-Aug-2010

Laboratory study shows succinyl-chitosan extended-release (XR) excipient could outperform commercially-available delivery technologies, says Spenser Pharmaceuticals.

Working with researchers at the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM), Canada, Spenser developed formulations of the drug metformin that CEO Max Arella said: “Showed significant advantages to the incumbent technologies.”

Foremost among these benefits, according to data on Spenser’s website, was release-time which, at around 12 hours, was 50 per cent longer than that of the control product, Bristol-Myers Squibb’s (B-MS) Glucophage XR Matix.

Massachusetts, US-headquartered Spenser also claimed that succinyl-chitosan-based metformin tablets “swelled less” than the comparator, suggesting that it would have an easier transit through the digestive tract.

This, Spenser suggested, could have implications for the development of metformin formulations which, despite being the most commonly prescribed type 2 diabetes treatment, are associated with GI tract disturbance.

The next stage for Spenser, according to Arella, is to move the chitosan technology into preclinical animal model testing which he suggested would provide more of an insight into its underlying value.

Therapeutic proteins

But, although the main focus of the UQAM project was on metformin, Arella also believes the chitosan technology could be applied to a wide range of therapeutic compounds.

He explained that: “Our excipient was able to formulate small-size molecules either polar or non polar as well as medium or large-size molecules such as bioactive peptides proteins or even microorganisms essentially applying to many popular prescribed and over the counter (OTC) drugs.”

Such application is very much in keeping with Spenser’s strategy and focus on developing improved efficacy formulations of currently available pharmaceutical products.

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