Needle-free biologics: Takeda & Portal develop delivery tech for Crohn’s

By Flora Southey contact

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags: Ulcerative colitis

Takeda has partnered with Portal Instruments to develop a needle-free drug delivery device for biologic medicines, starting with the former’s Entyvio (vedolizumab).

The collaboration will team Portal’s delivery technology with Takeda’s biologics to treat adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. 

Takeda’s Luke Willats said there are many biologic treatments on the market, but most involve an auto-injector or a needle and syringe.

The Portal device however, which is designed to be self-administered by patients at home, delivers the biologic through pressurised liquid instead of a needle.

“Takeda hopes to potentially offer patients the ability to administer treatment in their own home with a needle-free system that is designed to reduce the pain and anxiety associated with needle injections, in addition to reducing administration time,” ​Willats told us.

“By bringing a needle-free solution to market, Takeda hopes to provide a unique and improved experience for patients,” ​he added.

Portal CEO Patrick Anquetil told us the technology uses a computer-controlled motor, which allows for a precise, fast and quiet injection.

"Other jet-injectors are spring-powered or utilise a mechanical means to create the jet-injection, resulting in what is often described as a loud, painful injection," ​he said.

On a cost per injection basis, the technology is competitive to traditional auto-injectors, said Anquetil.

"The device is re-usable while the cartridge containing the drug is disposable and replaced for every dose taken by the patient," ​he told us.

Portal will receive an initial payment from Takeda, and has the potential to earn specified development, regulatory and sales-based milestones and royalties.

Entyvio (vedolizumab)

Life-long, chronic conditions, such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, are managed with intravenous infusions of biologic drugs, such as Takeda’s monoclonal antibody (mAb) Entyvio (vedolizumab), said the Japan-headquartered firm.

Willats said a phase III clinical trial programme is evaluating the efficacy and safety of a subcutaneous formulation of vedolizumab in adults with moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.

“We are not disclosing information on the commercial strategy at this time,” ​he added.

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