Pantec PLEASEs investor, gets $19M for pain-free drug delivery

Pantec Biosolutions, which develops a transdermal drug delivery device, just received a $19 million shot in the arm, with StemCell Holding, an Austrian life science investment firm, leading the round.

Large molecule drugs are a headache for everyone in the drug industry. They have to be injected, which means patients are afraid of them, lowering compliance and increasing risks of infection. That creates more pain for physicians, pharmaceutical companies and health insurance providers.

Out of Liechtenstein comes Pantec's PLEASE. It's an acronym for Painless Laser Epidermal System, and StemCell Holding's money will be used to help shepherd the product out the door. PLEASE is a handheld device that zaps the skin with lasers to create microscopic pores through which high molecular weight drugs are delivered. It's painless because the micropores do not reach nerves and blood vessels. The lasers come in short pulses, minimizing thermal damage.

Pantec is developing two hormone patches to be used with PLEASE for in-vitro fertilization therapy, where the current injection method is, according to a marketing video on Pantec's site, painful and tedious.

What impressed StemCell Holding, according to a prepared statement, was not only the "unique technology platform with a strong know-how in laser technology and drug delivery," but also the "excellent results in the due diligence process."

In June, Pantec's product received the European CE mark of approval, which means it met consumer safety and health requirements.

- take a look at the Pantec release
- and watch an animation showing PLEASE in action