Results from the preclinical pharmacokinetic study delivered rectally with NexACT the antibody Rituxan achieved blood stream concentrations similar to those seen when the drug is delivered via intravenous injection.
“This is the only rectal delivery technology that we are aware of that can deliver systematic, fully humanised antibodies in levels comparable to those obtained via the subcutaneous route,” commented Bassam Damaj, CEO of Apricus Biosciences, adding: “The results of this early stage study are highly encouraging.”
The drug Rituxan, is currently delivered subcutaneously or, if a patient is hospitalised, in three cycles of intravenous infusions. Marketed by Genentech and Biogen IDEC, it is prescribed to treat Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia, and Rheumatoid Arthritis.
Damaj believes that reformulating Rituxan for rectal administration could “provide patients the benefit of avoiding painful intravenous infusions and risks of systematic infection.” Furthermore, he added, the new formulation has the potential to be administered at home.
Apricus Bio received a $2.7m (€2.0m) cash injection earlier this year to fund the development of NexACT technology, and Damaj maintains “these pre-clinical results further demonstrate the versatility and potential of the NexACT technology as a multi-route delivery vehicle.”
This preceded a distribution deal to market products based on NexACT technology, as well as preclinical research services, throughout Japan in partnership with the Tokyo-based life sciences products company, Cosmo Bio.
In addition, during August, the US drugmaker announced it had strengthened its NexACT intellectual property position with the issuance of a patent by the Israeli Patent Office (IPO) that covers the technology until 2019.