Oral Thin Films: Game-Changing Drug Delivery Technologies

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What are they? Oral thin films are postage-stamp-sized versions of existing drugs that dissolve under the tongue or against the cheek--sort of a high-tech version of the breath strips you can buy at your local convenience store. They can carry very low doses of prescription that are highly uniform and larger doses up to 80 mg. They are emerging as a trend in drug delivery in treatments for everything from Alzheimer's disease to diabetes to erectile dysfunction.

What makes it groundbreaking? Oral thin films are easy to swallow without water, especially for pediatric, geriatric and neurodegenerative disease patients where proper dosing can be difficult. In chronic care, thin films give caregivers the ability to medicate regularly without injections. They are also a means of differentiated marketing for off-patent drugs.

Who's working on it:

  • Monosol Rx markets PharmFilm, which the FDA has given the go-ahead for an opioid-dependence drug, Suboxone, which is expected to hit the market after October. The drug was developed jointly by MonoSol Rx and Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals. MonoSol Rx has a continuing mission to take existing drugs and formulate thin-film versions of them. MonoSol RX has also collaborated, since 2008, with Midatech Group, a UK-based company that designs and synthesizes nanoparticle-based proteins and peptides for therapeutic delivery using pharmaceutical films.  Report | Report 

     

  • Applied Pharma Research (APR) and its development partner Labtec have entered into an exclusive licensing agreement with Ferrer Internacional, which will promote and distribute Donepezil Oral Dispersible Film (ODF) in Spain, Portugal and Germany. Donepezil ODF is a thin film formulation for symptomatic treatment of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. Report 

     

  • IntelGenx is developing a thin oral film that delivers INT007, which is the bioequivalent to phosphodiesterase type 5 that is found in leading ED tablets Viagra and Cialis. IntelGenx has announced that it's finished a study that indicates its thin film, called VersaFilm might actually work faster than those leading ED tablets. Report