Intelligent transdermal patch combines multiple therapies for controlled drug delivery
French biotechnology company Rhenovia Pharma has filed two patent applications for RHEpatch, its electronic transdermal patch for treating chronic diseases.
RHEpatch was originally designed to optimise the delivery of drugs to patients suffering from diseases of the nervous system. However, Rhenovia now expects it to have a considerable impact across the entire health sector. Its principal aim is to control dosing, treatment time and duration, day and night, for up to seven drugs administered to each patient. Control is achieved through a built-in electronic system pre-programmed by the doctor. RHEpatch thus provides better control over the delivery of several drugs prescribed as a polytherapy, especially for the elderly.
RHEpatch can also deliver combinations of compounds that are needed to treat complex nervous system diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
In addition, it will automatically control the administration of drugs, thus reducing the risk of patients forgetting.
Rhenovia says the RHEpatch has many advantages over existing transdermal patches, which have drug release systems that are mainly passive (the treatment begins when the patch is put on and ends when it is taken off). RHEpatch also indicates the amount of product actually delivered and the amount remaining in the patch. In addition, unlike other transdermal patches, Rhenovia’s technology allows closely controlled administration of several drugs through the same vector.
‘This unique drug delivery device is going to have a major impact on the way medicines are used in the coming years,’ said Serge Bischoff, president and CEO of Rhenovia. ‘It will enable doctors and nurses to manage treatment regimes more efficiently and more safely, as well as significantly improving patients’ quality of life.’
Michel Faupel, vice-president of Rhenovia and the designer of RHEpatch, added: ‘Delivering several drugs to the right place at the right time and in the right dose is a major challenge. Up to now, no-one has succeeded in doing that satisfactorily. Yet this kind of approach is essential for ensuring effective long-term treatment of chronic diseases.
‘By combining multitherapies derived from Rhenovia’s simulators with the controlled administration afforded by this intelligent patch, Rhenovia is convinced it can meet that challenge.’
Rhenovia’s industrial partner, Swiss firm Portmann Instruments, a specialist in high-precision instrumentation, also contributed to the design of RHEpatch.
With the completion of a three-year EU Eurostars partnership programme between Rhenovia and Portmann Instruments, RHEpatch has now reached the pre-industrialisation prototype stage. Following technological and biological proof-of-concept studies, Rhenovia is now looking for pharmaceutical, industrial and financial partners to move on to industrialisation and out-licensing.