Facilitates rapid absorption
The traditional routes of drug administration are intravenous (injection), per oral (tablet), inhalation (spray), trans dermal (patch), and rectal (suppository). There are also several formulations for administration of pharmaceuticals in the oral cavity. The most common are fast-acting tablets (sublingual), gels and films consisting of various preparations. These platforms vary in technology and are intended for use in different places in the oral cavity, typically the buccal (cheek) and sublingual (under the tongue) mucosa. The formulations are mechanical where the active substance is released by means of pH or dissolution in saliva.
The problem with absorption
The oral mucosa is a natural barrier against the surrounding environment and few substances can penetrate this in sufficient amounts before they are washed away by the saliva and transported to the stomach. This low rate of absorption is the main problem with drug administration via the oral mucosa. Regardless of the problems there is a wide-spread consensus that drug administration in the oral cavity has many advantages compared to per oral delivery via the gastrointestinal tract.
The solution to the problem
NorInvent’s technology solves the problem of the poor absorption and thus facilitates effective and efficient administration of pharmaceutical substances in the oral cavity. The technology could challenge and seriously compete with tablets as the form of administration preferred by the consumer.
The direct uptake to the bloodstream has several advantages:
- Faster onset
- Lower and more exact dosage
- Reduced load on organs
- Environmental benefits
Administration directly via the mucosa results in a fast uptake of the drug. This means that painkillers, for example, quickly reach their receptors where they are effective. Studies show time to onset of action of 5 to 10 minutes after administration. Time to onset of action is a very important factor in acute cases, such as migraine, anxiety and allergic reaction.
The environment benefits from lower dosages since this should result in lesser amounts of pharmaceutical waste reaching our waters via the sewage systems. Today the environmental impact is largely a hidden problem. NorInvent believes that the future will see more environmentally friendly pharmaceutical products.
NorInvent’s technology could act as a platform for the next generation green medicines. If the detour through the stomach can be avoided, then the drug substance does not need to be hardened against the acidic conditions there. Such a substance could theoretically be handled in an ordinary sewage treatment plant and thus solve large parts of the environmental considerations of pharmaceutical waste.
Reduced load on organs
Nausea and the general discomfort that comes with gastrointestinal irritation is a common side effect for many drugs that are ingested. The treatment also affects the gut flora negatively. These issues are completely avoided when the drug is administered via the oral mucosa. Furthermore, a lower dosage means that a larger portion of the drug is used as desired and internal organs such as liver and kidneys are spared excess amounts of substances. This holds for all cases but in particular for patients with complex treatments over long periods of time.
Lower and more exact dosage
Typically, only about 50% of the drug that is ingested reaches the bloodstream. Not uncommonly this bioavailability is as low as 10%. This is due to first passage elimination where the harsh conditions in the stomach and gut destroys the drug to some degree. The liver can also metabolize drugs. The bioavailability is considerably higher if the uptake takes place via the oral mucosa and thus the dosage can be reduced. Uptake via the oral mucosa also means that the actual dose can be adjusted more exactly. One reason for this is that the bioavailability of a drug in the gastrointestinal tract can vary significantly between individuals and depending on food intake. Contrary to a tablet that has been swallowed, a drug that has been administered at the oral mucosa could be removed once the desired effect has been reached.
NorInvent's technology could also mean a shorter path to market, lower cost and risk for development, and the possibility of exclusivity for substances where patents that are about to expire.