Life sciences start-up Avro is developing a method to deliver medication through the skin.
The company is making skin patches, much like nicotine patches, that can release drugs into the body. It has started with medicines commonly used in seasonal allergies.
The patch is aimed at patients who can't swallow or chew, like children and the elderly. Here is more on the technology.
The company has started with skin patches for allergy medication
Avro co-founder Shakir Lakhani explained that he wanted to start with allergy relief first because children are often resistant to taking those medications, and because he himself suffers from seasonal allergies.
"There's medications that say they taste like banana but don't really taste like banana. The drugs are also relatively safe so it's something we can work with without being too worried," he said.
The start-up will eventually expand to other medicines as well
Talking of expanding to other types of medicines, Lakhani said, "We're looking at things like people suffering from neurodegenerative diseases and more intense diseases that inhibit your ability to swallow, like Multiple Sclerosis."
Avro to conduct clinical trials before selling the product
To get the approval of the US Food and Drug Administration for selling the product, Avro first needs to conduct some human clinical trials. Lakhani believes the skin patches will be up and running by Q3 this year.
Notably, the drugs Avro wants to use are already established, so it doesn't need to prove their reliability, but only the effectiveness of the delivery method.
Some other companies that deal in transdermal drug delivery
Avro is not the first company to provide transdermal drug delivery. Miami-based pharmaceutical company ProSolus develops skin patches for the delivery of several over-the-counter drugs, while California-based company Zosano makes specialty skin patches for migraine medicines.