The Silica Matrix, developed by Finland-based DelSiTech, can be used for parenteral and local administration of injectable depot, implant, and eye drop dosage forms.
The active ingredient is embedded in Silica (silicon dioxide, SiO²), before being exposed to body fluids wherein the matrix slowly dissolves.
Although the Silica Matrix can be used to administer all types of molecules, including small molecule compounds, peptides, RNA, proteins, and antibodies, CEO Lasse Leino said the firm has a “strong focus” on developing long-acting biologics.
“It has been already demonstrated that biologics will be the number one drug class in the very near future,” Leino told delegates at Nordic Life Science Days in Stockholm this week. Following biobetters and biosimilars, “the third generation of biologics is controlled-release biologics,” he added.
Why? “It is not a patient-friendly approach to have a drug you have to inject every week or every other week. You need a product that is injected once every third month or twice a year, and that is what we’re aiming at,” said Leino.
Eyes on intravitreal drug delivery
According to Leino, the firm’s interest in ophthalmic drug delivery could help target “the biggest problem” in such topical products: repeated dosing. “This is a major compliance issue,” he told delegates.
While DelSiTech’s Silica Matrix helps to facilitate once-a-day application, the firm is also investigating the delivery of active compounds to the back of the eye.
“There are a large number of companies which have very promising compounds, but they can’t reach the target, which is the retina, because these compounds can’t be given orally.
“We are focusing on intravitreal injections; this is a very hot topic in drug delivery in general,” he said.
By delivering biologics, including peptides and proteins, over a long period, patients can avoid excessive, uncomfortable injections, he explained: “No one wants to have an injection every other day, or every week, or every other week into their eye.”
Last year, the University of Birmingham also announced developments aimed at reducing ocular injections. The UK-based researchers developed a cell-penetrating peptide they claimed could be used to make eye drop versions of age-related macular degeneration drugs.