APR acquires new drug delivery nanotechnology for innovative
treatment of critical diseases
22 February 2009
Swiss company Applied Pharma Research s.a. (APR) has acquired a
nanocoating process for the preparation of new biotechnology products
for the treatment of several critical diseases in multiple therapeutic
APR is already developing specific applications of the resulting
products in ophthalmology and dermatology. Financial terms of the
acquisition were not disclosed.
“We decided to acquire this new platform technology when we
understood the great potential of combining a process based on nano-coating
technology to totally biological compounds to obtain products with
powerful healing capabilities and minimal side effects or tolerability
issues,” said Paolo Galfetti, CEO of APR. “The products based on this
new technology may unlock new therapeutic solutions to unmet needs in
several critical therapeutic areas”.
APR has first targeted the treatment of eye injuries, including
cataract, chronic and acute infected wounds, including surgically
induced wounds and skin and eye infections, where initial tests made
with the first product derived from the new technology showed most
promising results. Several other applications of this technology are
also being studied.
APR has already performed several in vitro and in vivo
pre-clinical tests studying the critical features of the first product
obtained with the nano-coating patented process, including its chemical
analysis, stability, toxicology, safety and efficacy with positive and
promising results. Also, the company says that a Phase II study in
surgically induced wounds has been performed with excellent results and
that APR is now ready to enter the first clinical studies in eye wound
and cataract healing.
“In order to give the right focus to this new important step in the
expansion of APR R&D portfolio as well as to give the Inventors of this
technology platform a substantial stake into this venture, APR decided
to create a new company specifically dedicated to the development of
this and possible future applications of our nanotechnology. This new
company, named “APR Nanotechnologies s.a.”, will also be headquartered
in Switzerland and will be based in Balerna,” concluded Paolo Galfetti.
According to a 2008 report of Business Insights, Nanotechnologies
have attracted over US$3.0 billion in funds from government and private
investment sources which are being applied to a broad range of
disciplines, including advances in pharmaceuticals, drug delivery and
healthcare monitoring. The global nanotechnology market is forecast to
reach a turnover in excess of US$1 trillion by 2015 due to advances in
nanomaterials, nanostructures and nanosystems.
According to references cited by the American Academy of
Ophthalmology, almost 20.5 million people over 40 years old and almost
half of the people at 80 years old in the US suffer from cataracts and
the US government spends almost US$3.4 billion each year through the
Medicare program for cataract surgery that is the most commonly
performed ophthalmic procedure. According to the same references almost
2.5 Million people in the US suffer from eye injuries each year.
Surgical induced wounds are the most prevalent wounds in the world
with over 100 million cases in 2007. Chronic wounds (including pressure,
venous and diabetic ulcers) account for another 30 Million cases
worldwide according to a MedMarket Diligence study.
According to Business Insights report data, almost 178 Million people
suffer from skin infections in the major 7 markets, this amount
increases to over 700 Million if HSV-1 and HSV-2 related infections are
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