Syneron grabs TransPharma assets, gains novel transdermal drug delivery tech

Syneron Medical ($ELOS) creates cosmetic lasers and other devices to help improve people's looks, focusing on processes like body contouring, hair removal, acne and leg vein treatment. Seeking to add more treatment options to those business lines, the Israeli company snatched up the assets of TransPharma Medical for $3.6 million, gaining access to some nifty needle-free transdermal drug delivery technology.

Syneron specifically wanted TransPharma's ViaDor system, which uses RF-MicroChannels technology to create microscopic channels across the skin through which drugs can be delivered, by way of a proprietary patch containing the drug. ViaDor gained a CE Mark in the European Union in 2008 under the product's old name, ViaDerm. And the device has been used to stimulate skin rejuvenation and better deliver specific skin drugs to targeted skin layers, Syneron notes. Syneron co-founder and Chairman Shimon Eckhouse said in a statement that his company would add the technology into its current product offerings and absorb TransPharma's research and development program into its own.

TransPharma, based in Lod, Israel, had generated some promising buzz with its ViaDor technology, and explored its use in areas other than dermatology and cosmetic indications. The company inked a development/licensing deal with Eli Lilly ($LLY) in 2008, worth at least $35 million upfront, involving a version of Lilly's osteoporosis drug Forteo that incorporated TransPharma's delivery system technology, the business innovation news wire Israel21c reported at the time. In 2010, TransPharma successfully completed a Phase Ia trial using its then-named ViaDerm-GlP1 agonist to treat Type 2 diabetes, among other milestones.

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