Lycotec piques NIH's interest with liver-targeting chocolate delivery

The U.K.'s Lycotec is conducting trials of its chocolate-based drug delivery platform, and the tech has sparked the attention of the National Institutes of Health, the company's CEO tells in-Pharma Technologist.

The company's novel platform is designed to get treatment safely through the gastrointestinal tract and into the liver, and, in recent Phase IIa trials, Lycotec's chocolate delivery improved the efficacy of statin-based treatments by four times and of anti-inflammatory protein peptides by 100 times, in-Pharma Technologist reports.

And the FDA and NIH have taken an interest in the platform, CEO Ivan Petyaev told in-Pharma Technologist, because the high-efficacy results coupled with the popularity of chocolate could be useful in boosting compliance among pediatric patients.

Here's how Lycotec's method works: The chocolate platform is formulated with high carotenoid molecules, which don't have corresponding digestive enzymes in the body, allowing them to pass through the gastrointestinal tract without getting broken up. The carotenoid molecules also double as targeting agents, seeking out liver tissues and binding to them.

As a result, Petyaev said the company is looking to partner with drugmakers looking to get peptides and proteins to the liver without risking dissolution in the gastrointestinal tract, something that has been difficult in the past. Furthermore, Petyaev said, the platform could provide an opportunity to improve the delivery of drugs coming off patent.

- read the in-Pharma Technologist story

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