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Genetic Engineering News Reports Advances in Drug Delivery Technologies.

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LARCHMONT, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 1, 2003

New methods for delivering drugs can improve their effectiveness and offer other benefits to patients, reports Genetic Engineering News (GEN)(www.genengnews.com). Techniques such as site-specific delivery and controlled release often reduce the side effects associated with systemic administration and help improve patient compliance, according to the July issue of GEN.

"A key goal of drug delivery companies is to design technologies that provide more effective therapeutics while making it easier for patients to take their medicines," says John Sterling, editor-in-chief of GEN.

Durect (NASDAQ:DRRX), for example, is developing delivery systems for chronic debilitating pain using Duros(R) implant technology, which Durect licensed from Alza. Duros is an osmotic pump that delivers drugs based on concentration gradients that move water from the body into the pump's salt compartment. Because a titanium shell protects the drug from body enzymes, Duros can store and release drugs for up to one year, according to Durect.

The company is also developing Saber(TM), which delivers drugs as a single parenteral injection and can also be formulated for oral and dermal delivery. Saber uses sucrose acetate isobutyrate (SAIB), an organic solvent, and additives. SAIB is a hydrophobic, viscous liquid that forms a depot at the injection site; the depot slowly dissolves to release the drug.

Biovail (NYSE:BVF) launched its oral controlled-release CardizemRLA (diltiazem HCl) this past April as a hypertension drug. Taken at night the product provides 24-hour blood pressure medication. The technology is designed to deliver optimum drug levels early in the morning, which is the time that a patient is most at risk to suffer angina that can lead to heart attack, stroke, or sudden death.

Biovail also licensed North American rights from Flamel (NASDAQ:FLML) to an oral controlled-release formulation of acyclovir to treat episodic, recurrent genital herpes. This drug will rely on Flamel's micropump technology.

Other drug delivery methods covered in the GEN article include Controlled Delivery Technology(TM) from SCOLR (OTC BB:SCLL) (formerly Nutraceutix), the Gastric Retention System from DepoMed (AMEX:DMI), and polyethylene glycol products from Nektar Therapeutics (NASDAQ:NKTR).

Genetic Engineering News is published 21 times a year by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. For a copy of the magazine, please call 914-834-3100, ext. 623, or email: ebicovny@liebertpub.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jul 1, 2003
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