The technology, developed by teaching and research institute the London School of Pharmacy (LSP), uses two complimentary mechanisms to transport the drug through the body then release within the colon.
As well as a pH dependent coating, Phoral also features a resistant starch component that is only broken down by the microbiota in the colonic region.
Encap says a new series of studies named Colon-Screen – being conducted by themselves and the LSP – will give clients a straightforward yes or no as to whether their drug is suitable for use with the Phoral technology.
Robbie Stewart, Encap’s sales and marketing director, told Outsourcing-Pharma: “Being experts in oral delivery means that we are always interested in novel delivery technologies that will target areas of the GI tract.
“We looked into a range of oral colonic systems and we believe that the Phloral technology is unique and offers a more reliable means of delivery compared to other colonic systems.
“Clients are looking to Encap to produce a simple, straightforward series of studies which will allow them to understand if their drug is suitable for colonic delivery, which is the aim of Colon-Screen.”
He added: “The services are being conducted by ourselves and the London School of Pharmacy. Depending on the animal PK study that clients wish to conduct, we may also use additional CROs.”
Casting a wide net
The contract manufacturing organisation (CMO) hopes its new offering will not only appeal to existing companies – who remain unnamed – but also to a broad spectrum of new clients.
“We are currently working with a number of companies who are testing the suitability of our colonic delivery system with their molecule,” said Stewart.
“However the full package of services available within Colon-Screen is new for Encap and we are keen to offer these to existing and new clients.”
And, says Encap, potential clients could include anyone from those interested in the treatment of local diseases associated with the colon – such as Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) – to those interested in the oral delivery of peptides and proteins, oligonucleotides and vaccines.
The new delivery technique is generating a buzz thanks the colon’s potential for the absorption of certain molecules due to the decreased levels of efflux transporters and membrane-bound metabolic enzymes known as cytochromes.
Stewart added: “We want to work with a wide range of pharmaceutical companies. The most obvious would be companies who are involved with Inflammatory Bowel Disease or Irritable Bowel Syndrome medications.
“However we have also had a lot of interest from companies who are looking to treat diseases that are not local to the colon but want to use the colon as the site of uptake for their drug."