Updated on 12 June 2013
Dr Nick Ede, executive director, Imugene, Australia
Australian drug delivery technology company Imugene has developed Linguet, a drug delivery technology platform, to improve efficacy and safety of existing prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines. Imugene emphasizes that pharmaceutical companies face threat of significant revenue loss from patent expiries, and need to reformulate their existing drugs to gain the market share back.
Through reformulation, a drug company alters characteristics of a brand-name drug just enough to qualify for a new patent under examination procedures of regulatory authorities, while keeping the characteristics of the drugs same as before. Dr Nick Ede, executive director, Imugene, explains how the new technology can be a big revenue booster to drug companies.
What is Linguet drug delivery technology?
Imugene is working on a strategy to reformulate the existing medicines that are currently or soon to become off-patent. Linguet enables the active ingredient of drugs to be absorbed straight into the bloodstream when placed inside the cheek (via the buccal mucosa) or under the tongue (sublingual). The technology uses hydrophilic PEG (polyethylene glycol) molecules to enhance penetration across mucosal membranes. Besides, the technology can also control the amount and rate of drug to be delivered.
The technology was developed by Dr Richard Stenlake and Dr Alan Hewitt, from Sydney-based Stenlake Compounding. In August 2011, this technology was acquired by Consegna and later sold to Imugene in August 2012.