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New oral medicine to treat inflammatory bowel disease developed

Published on 19/05/22 at 12:19pm

An innovative capsule could take treatment for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – the two main types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) – out of hospital and into patients’ homes.

The first-choice biologic treatment usually administered by intravenous infusion, potentially painful, and requiring two hours in hospital each administration, may have an alternative in the form of a safer, more effective, and more convenient oral capsule.

For many, receiving the gold-standard therapy of the monoclonal antibody therapy, infliximab, for Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis can be time-consuming, and cause adverse effects such as immunosuppression.

CPI, in collaboration with Intact Pharma, Quay Pharma, and Pharmidex, has worked to repackage the biologic drug infliximab into a safer, more effective and more convenient oral capsule.

Silvia Matiz, Formulation Scientist at Intract Pharma, who managed the project, commented: “Over the past years, Intract has been working really hard in the development of technologies to allow for oral delivery of biologics – the ‘holy grail’ in the pharmaceutical industry. Protein-based therapeutics are generally unstable in the harsh conditions of the gut and rapidly degrade before being able to exert any effect.”

The oral monoclonal antibody treatment is now ready for human clinical trials.

John Arthur, Director of Medicines Manufacturing and Biologics at CPI, said: “Every day at CPI we work together with industry partners to create lasting impact through deep tech innovation. Through our collaboration with Intract Pharma, Quay Pharma and Pharmidex we were able to provide a solid proof-of-concept to take the novel oral infliximab product to clinical trials and bring a transformative treatment one step closer to reality for the millions of people with Crohn’s and colitis around the world.”

The oral version of infliximab is more targeted, and has fewer side effects than the injectable product.

Ana Ovey

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