The firm said that the excipient, known as “Health in Gum,” provides drugmakers with an innovative oral delivery system that can be added to drug formulations without specialist processing equipment.
Company spokesperson Marta Carbo told in-pharmatechnologist that: “There is a long list of APIs that can be combined with Health in Gum, [covering] several therapeutic areas, [including] analgesia, allergy, digestive [as well as] cough and cold medications.”
Carbo added that: “Medicated chewing gum has been considered a valid drug delivery system for years, but could never be developed to a greater extent…because it required a considerable investment in specific equipment and technology in order to manufacture chewing gum with ordinary gum bases.”
She went on to say that Cafosa are optimistic about demand for the new excipient, explaining that it is “already present in some commercially available products and we currently have several promising projects running in trial phase.
“We expect a growing demand for the excipient in the coming years. Moreover, Cafosa has always been an innovative company, so we will maintain our constant efforts in developing new products and applications for chewing gum in pharmaceuticals.
Medicated chewing gum
Gum-based drugs are not a new idea, with a number of companies recognising the buccal mucosa and its rich supply of blood vessels as an effective way of delivering active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) and bypassing some of the gastrointestinal side effects associated with other administration routes, thereby boosting compliance.
Danish gum specialist Fertin Pharma is a leader in the field with its MedChew technology attracting interest from a number of major pharmaceutical players.
One of the most advanced of these collaborations is its MetControl project with US firm Generex Biotechnology, which is focused on developing a gum formulation of the diabetes treatment metformin.
In June, Generex reported data from a 2008 trial that, it said, indicated that MetControl is bioequivalent to traditional tablet formulations in both drug release rate and systemic absorption of metformin. Shortly after the firm said it is preparing to submit the product to regulators sometime next year.
Developments such as these, coupled with the already well established smoking cessation gum market, could see chewing gum delivery gain greater industry acceptance in the next few years and drive demand for gum excipients, particularly those that do not require significant manufacturing investment.