PharmaTher, TSRL ally to create microneedle patches to deliver psychedelics and antivirals

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PharmaTher and TSRL's patches will consist of a drug-loaded reservoir on top of a hydrogel microneedle array. (rawpixel)

PharmaTher and TSRL have teamed up to co-develop microneedle patches. The collaboration sets the partners up to pool resources to create intradermal delivery devices for use in their respective therapeutic areas of focus.

Each company was independently active in microneedle delivery prior to the collaboration. TSRL has worked on prototype patches with the support of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for several years, while PharmaTher licensed microneedle technology from the University of California, Los Angeles last year.

The companies will now work together on a patch. If the project is successful, PharmaTher will use the patch to deliver psychedelics such as ketamine and psilocybin, and TSRL will use the technology in the administration of antivirals such as influenza medication zanamivir.

TSRL has initiated tech transfer for scale-up and manufacturing ahead of the submission of an IND for its zanamivir candidate. PharmaTher framed the deal as a chance to use the progress made by TSRL to accelerate its own programs.

“We are very excited to collaborate with TSRL as they have de-risked certain technical and manufacturing aspects of the microneedle patch and by sharing our resources it will allow PharmaTher to expedite the clinical and commercial development of the microneedle patch with ketamine and other psychedelics,” PharmaTher CEO Fabio Chianelli said in a statement. 

Chianelli also highlighted the potential for the partnership to give the collaborators control over the production and supply of microneedle patches as a benefit. The PharmaTher CEO sees opportunities  to unlock commercial partnering opportunities with companies seeking microneedle patches, too. 

The patches will consist of a drug-loaded reservoir on top of a hydrogel microneedle array. When applied to the skin, the microneedles are designed to swell to facilitate the release of the contents of the drug reservoir into the tissue.