Encap's deal to target colonic drug delivery

September 11, 2009
Stephanie Sutton

Stephanie Sutton was an assistant editor at Pharmaceutical Technology Europe.

Encap Drug Delivery (UK) has licensed a coating technology that targets the release of drugs to the colon.

Encap Drug Delivery (UK) has licensed a coating technology that targets the release of drugs to the colon. The PHLORAL system, licensed from the University of London's School of Pharmacy (UK), will be promoted by Encap under the name Encode (Encap Colonic Delivery).

As well as a target for treating local diseases associated with the colon, such as Crohn's disease and colorectal cancer, the colon also offers a potential site for the oral delivery of peptides and proteins, as well as oligonucleotides and vaccines. According to Encap, existing colonic drug delivery systems, which usually involve a dosage unit coated with polymeric materials that will usually not dissolve until they reach the lower intestine, can be unreliable. PHLORAL, however, offers what Encap has referred to as "fail-safe delivery" because it uses two mechanisms to trigger drug release: a pH dependent coating and an additional component that is broken down by microbiota in the colonic region.

In a company statement, Encap explains that a scientific study, which demonstrates the potential of the PHLORAL delivery system, was published in Alimentary Phamacology & Therapeutics. "Dosage units with the combination coating all disintegrated in the colonic area as desired, where as many units coated exclusively with a commercially available pH coating passed through the gastrointestinal tract intact and failed to disintegrate," said the company statement.

Encap's Chief Operating Officer, Stephen Brown, also added in the statement: "This deal with The School of Pharmacy is an ideal strategic fit for Encap Drug Delivery as wel already have a portfolio of drug delivery technologies available for oral dose forms. The ability to use PHLORAL technology combined with the flexibility afforded by our liquid fill hard capsule technology, allows us to now offer clients a system with the confidence that colonic delivery will be achieved."

www.encapdrugdelivery.com