Phosphagenics' animal health topical patch shows promise

Phosphagenics' TPM/Oxycodone topical patch to combat neuropathic pain in large companion animals relieved all racehorses within two days in an initial study, the company said May 21.

The Australian company focuses on developing topical gels using its targeted penetration matrix delivery technology based on vitamin E phosphate. Earlier this year, the system was used by Novartis ($NVS) to launch a topical gel in India designed to treat pain associated with osteoarthritis, rheumatism and associated injuries.

Five of the 6 horses in the study were pain-free within 24 hours of patch application measured using Veterinary Lameness Scores and the sixth was pain free within 48 hours and required two patches, according to the company's statement. Prior to treatment the horses exhibited shin soreness.

"Gastric ulceration is one of the biggest health issues for thoroughbred racehorses," said the study's principal veterinarian Dr. John Walker. "The topical nature of this patch's delivery system means gastric ulceration associated with some systemic drug treatments, such as the NSAID Phenylbutazone, will be eliminated."

The product could benefit other companion animals, which constitute 40% of the global animal health market worth $23 billion annually.

"The horse study confirms that the topical application of our oxycodone patch provides a unique opportunity in the large companion animal market. Additionally, it provides us with confidence ahead of our Phase II topical TPM/Oxycodone study for neuropathic pain that will commence in the next quarter. Our oxymorphone and oxycodone programs are targeting a $12 billion annual market for human use," said Phosphagenics CEO Harry Rosen in a statement.

- read the release

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