Enterprise Development

A Novel Hydrogel Microneedle Device for Transdermal Delivery

Information

Inventors
Dr Ryan Donnelly and Professor David Woolfson from the School of Pharmacy.

Patent
A priority patent application was filed on 28 Sept 2007 and the application entered PCT on 29 Sept 2008 with International Publication Number
WO2009040548.

Opportunity Status
Queens wishes to talk to companies interested in developing the commercial opportunities for this novel and exciting technology

Contact
To discuss this further please contact:
Dr Paschal McCloskey

Request Further Information: Project Number P101240 A Novel Hydrogel Microneedle Device for Transdermal Delivery

Funding
Project part financed by the European Regional Development Fund under the European Sustainable Competitiveness Programme for Northern Ireland.

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Project Number
P101240, POC21A

Researchers at QUB have invented a unique and innovative microneedle transdermal system, based on hydrogel materials, for the delivery of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs).

Laser-engineered microprojection array

  • Painless application and removal
  • Do not block during delivery
  • Drug loading not limited to what could be loaded into the microneedle
  • Easily combined with current transdermal patch-type drug reservoirs
  • System is “self-disabling”, so can’t be re-applied following removal. This prevents transmission of infection
  • Uses FDA-approved biocompatible & biodegradable materials
  • Customizable for the type & dose of drug to be delivered
  • Applicable to transdermal delivery of macromolecular actives
  • Low cost & fully automated scalable fabrication process

Background

Transdermal delivery of API’s offers considerable advantages over conventional administration routes. These include improved bioavailability, avoidance of hepatic first pass metabolism and maintenance of steady plasma concentrations. However, for successful delivery of APIs across the skin it is necessary to overcome the barrier of the skin’s outer layer (Stratum corneum) which currently limits the number of APIs deliverable by this route. Current problems with the development of microneedle (MP) transdermal delivery systems include high expense of manufacture of MPs, use of non-FDA approved silicon, difficulty in coating, drug degradation at high temperatures required to micromould polymericmicroneedles etc.

Innovation

Researchers at QUB have invented a unique and innovative microneedle transdermal system, based on hydrogel materials, for the delivery of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs).The hydrogel polymer microneedles are hard and sharp when dry, but rapidly hydrate upon insertion into the skin. The swollen hydrogel projections formed constitute a continuous, unblockable aqueous pathway between the external environment and dermal microcirculation allowing the controlled delivery of a wide range of APIs.The delivery system developed is cheap and simple to manufacture, using FDA approved biocompatible and biodegradable materials and laserengineered micromoulds.

Market Opportunity

The current worldwide transdermal patch market of $12.6 billion is based on less than 20 APIs. Application of this new technology to increase the number of API’ deliverable transdermally would greatly increase the value to market. The advanced API delivery system market in the US approaches $20 billion annually. Unlike other advanced API delivery system, the present invention is low cost, so profit margins should be high. The key market opportunities are in the US, Europe, Canada, Japan, Australasia and Brazil.

 

  • Painless application and removal                    
  • Microneedles do not block during delivery
  • Skin does not 'close up' during delivery
  • Drug loading not limited to what could be loaded into the microproneedles
  • Easily combined with conventional transdermal patch-type drug reservoirs
  • System is “self-disabling”, so can’t be re-applied following removal. This prevents transmission of infection
  • Shares many production elements with conventional patch technology
  • Uses FDA-approved biocompatible & biodegradable materials
  • Customizable for the type & dose of drug to be delivered
  • Applicable to transdermal delivery of macromolecular actives
  • Low cost & fully automated scalable fabrication process