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Adeline Siew is editor for Pharmaceutical Technology Europe. She is also science editor for Pharmaceutical Technology.
The CUREfilm technology delivers drugs through a dissolvable strip that can be applied in the oral cavity or onto the skin.
The CUREfilm technology, developed by Cure Pharmaceutical, delivers drugs through a dissolvable strip that can be applied in the oral cavity or onto the skin. It replaces the need for swallowing or injecting medicines. The film has the ability to hold multiple active ingredients on one dissolvable strip, hence, eliminating the need to take multiple medications for daily treatments.
“CUREfilm products are designed to optimize drug release profiles and achieve a target product profile,” says Jessica Rousset, COO at CURE Pharmaceutical. “Unlike traditional oral drug delivery, CUREfilm can be designed to bypass the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, avoiding GI-related side effects and inactivation in the gut or liver.” Rousset explains that the nanoencapsulation of active ingredients within the film further protects them from degradation during the manufacturing process and as they navigate the biological environment, thereby, prolonging the drug’s presence in the circulatory system as needed. Rousset spoke to Pharmaceutical Technology about the advantages of CUREfilm and its applications in drug delivery.
PharmTech: What drug delivery challenges does CUREfilm solve or address?
Rousset:There are two facets to this answer: bioavailability and patient experience. Regarding bioavailability, recent figures suggest that 30% of marketed drugs have high permeability but low solubility (1). This number jumps to 70% for investigational drugs in the pipeline (2). CUREfilm drives more rapid solubilization of medicines in biological fluids, whether through the GI tract or the oral mucosal membrane. Drug delivery through the mucosal membrane has the advantage of immediate absorption by the cheek, gum, or sublingual vasculature, bypassing the digestive tract where medication can get metabolized and inactivated, or cause GI toxicities.
From the patient perspective, approximately 40% of patients struggle swallowing pills, and injections are unpleasant, especially when self-administered. Such experience leads to missed doses, potentially worsening the patient’s health outcomes. CUREfilm can reduce this burden with fewer side effects.
PharmTech: What are the advantages of CUREfilm compared with other drug delivery technologies?
Rousset:CUREfilm technology enables high drug loading, whether it is one or multiple active ingredients, while maintaining the film’s desirable properties such as rapid dissolution and a pleasant taste. This feature allows us to improve the delivery of lower potency drugs, such as antibiotics and combination drugs. To date, we have produced at commercial scale, a CUREfilm nutraceutical product with five different active ingredients for a combined dose of 180 mg. In the laboratory, using a next-generation tri-layer film, we have exceeded 500-mg film loads that dissolve rapidly. CUREfilm technology has the potential to advance precision medicine by relegating the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to dosing drugs to the past. As we better understand how individuals, both children and adults, metabolize drugs differently, it will become increasingly essential to dispense drug doses with precision, and CUREfilm opens up this possibility. CUREfilm technology is also available to preclinical researchers delivering test compounds to experimental animals, as a more humane and operator friendly alternative to oral gavage.
PharmTech:What type of drugs and treatments will benefit from CUREfilm?
Rousset:Currently, we have several ranges of products that are manufactured, in development, or in the research stage. The target indications include neurological conditions, sleep disorders, inflammatory conditions, and cancer. We have several pharmaceutical products that are in the works leveraging the CUREfilm technology: a combination cannabinoid buccal film to treat obstructive sleep apnea, a treatment for erectile dysfunction, and a high dose vitamin D3.
CURE is also strategically investing in research on the endocannabinoid system, which is a new frontier in medicine. The endocannabinoid pathway is an important regulator of other physiological systems and plays a role in maintaining homeostasis. When you can regulate the body, you unlock the potential to treat a host of medical conditions, such as cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and many other conditions. Specifically, we are sponsoring cancer discovery research in the laboratory of Dr. Dedi Meiri at the Technion Institute of Technology to evaluate the antitumor effects of phytocannabinoids and terpenes, on various cancer-driving mutations and pathways and to elucidate the mechanism of cannabinoid-mediated antitumor effects with the goal of delivering these actives to patients using CUREfilm.
1. Benet L.Z., Broccatelli F., Oprea T.I. AAPS J,13 (4) 519–547 (2011).
2. “Solubility Enhancement in Pharmaceutical Oral Solid Dosage Forms: Global Market Analysis and Opportunities,” Kline & Co. Report Published: March 2015.
Vol. 42, No. 6
When referring to this article, please cite it as A. Siew, “An alternative to pills and injections: CUREfilm redefines how medicines are delivered and experienced,” Pharmaceutical Technology 42 (6) 19 (2018).