SMARTT e-Patch wins Worldwide Innovation Challenge award

In the personalised medicine category

The type of electronics system used by Rhenovia in its SMARTT e Patch

Rhenovia Pharma, a French biotechnology company specialising in the application of biosimulation to the research and development of new medicinal products, has won an award at the World Innovation Challenge for its SMARTT e-Patch.

The patch caters to the need for controlled administration of medicinal products in treating chronic conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. Support from France's programme of investment for the future will help to industrialise the production of the patch within five years.

The SMARTT e-Patch allows the controlled administration of up to seven medicines through the use of an inbuilt electronic system programmed by the patient's doctor. Initially designed to make it easier for patients suffering from nervous system disorders such as Alzheimer’s to take medicinal products, Rhenovia’s patch can be extended to support a larger range of conditions.

By enabling the chronobiological administration and controlled dosage of medicinal products, it increases efficacy, improves bioavailability and minimises side effects. The transdermal patch also prevents doses being missed or taken erratically by patients who are confused, or who require third party assistance.

We can now accelerate its development and plan for market launch in less than five years

Rhenovia filed a patent for the patch in 2012. It includes an ultra-slim battery, a printed electronic circuit on a flexible substrate, UV-LED ink, a novel photolabile ligand, transdermal nanovectors and non-contact programming.

'In singling out the SMARTT e-Patch project, the World Innovation Challenge panel has highlighted the innovative nature of our intelligent transdermal patch and the appropriateness of its response to a major health challenge and its huge commercial potential,' said Serge Bischoff, CEO of Rhenovia.

Microscope view of Rhenovia nano-biovectors; they help encapsulate the drugs in order to deliver them through the skin and into the body

'The support of the French government, and the engagement of our partners, particularly in the Alsace region, mean that we can now accelerate its development and plan for market launch in less than five years.'

The French State launched the World Innovation Challenge on 2 December 2013 to support and develop the future champions of the French economy.

As part of the Challenge, a first wave of 625 international projects was submitted to French public investment bank BPI France. Of these, 134 were shortlisted and 58 made the final selection. The list of winners was unveiled on 20 March by France’s Prime Minister. There were 13 award-winners in the personalised medicine category, including Rhenovia’s SMARTT e-Patch.

The world market for the transdermal administration of medicinal products is expected to reach US$ 31.5bn (EUR22.8bn) by 2015, according to market researcher MarketsandMarkets, with annual growth of around 8%.