INSYS and Aptar launch under-the-tongue delivery for cancer pain drug

INSYS Therapeutics is touting the U.S. launch of SUBSYS, an under-the-tongue fentanyl spray for cancer pain flare-ups, using a custom-made drug delivery device from Aptar Pharma ($ATR).

The drug is designed to complement the opioids cancer patients already take for background pain. SUBSYS focuses on what's called breakthrough pain--a momentary shock of severe agony--and Aptar's unit-dose delivery of fentanyl provides the ideal way to bring fast-acting relief, INSYS said in a release.  

Fentanyl is already available in nasal sprays, tablets and oral transmucosal forms, but Aptar's ready-to-use spray technology doesn't require priming, unlike multi-dose spray pumps, and delivers the drug to a broad sublingual area for a quick effect, according to Aptar. 

"With the early onset of action, greater bioavailability and broadest range of approved strengths, SUBSYS is poised to match the onset and intensity of a breakthrough cancer pain episode," Dr. Jeffrey Gudin of New Jersey's Englewood Hospital and Medical Center said in a statement.

Aptar figures the mucosal systemic drug delivery market to be worth more than $2 billion, and it expects the market to keep growing as drug developers favor the platform to treat migraines, insomnia and other ailments. (Image courtesy of Aptar Pharma)

- check out INSYS's release
- get more from Aptar