Grace, Formac tout positive results for silica-based delivery

The path from drug discovery to marketability is fraught with possible roadblocks, including the possibility that no matter how powerful your molecule, if it's insoluble, it might be useless.

With that in mind, W. R. Grace ($GRA) and Formac Pharmaceuticals partnered to develop a novel silica-based platform to bring poorly soluble drugs to the market. And now the duo is reporting positive clinical trial results.

In the trial, researchers evaluated the bioavailability of the cholesterol fighter fenofibrate formulated with the silica platform versus that of Lipanthyl, which has the same API. The silica-based fenofibrate had a 54% higher bioavailability than the commercial formulation, and the two companies believe their platform could open doors for the development and marketing of other poorly soluble compounds.

"We are excited about the study results proving the effectiveness of the silica-based drug delivery technology in humans," said George Young, Grace's VP of new business development, in a statement. "The successful completion of this study marks an important milestone for our strategic partnership with Formac as we embark on the development and commercialization of this novel approach for improved drug delivery."

The mesoporous silica-based platform is designed to be customizable, dissolving at a rate compatible to whatever API is loaded into it. The two companies want to offer tailor-made solubility to drug developers through the platform, and this Phase I trial is just the beginning of their push to get their product on the market.

- read the release from Grace and Formac