Galenic innovation : an interdisciplinary science in constant evolution
Far from being an isolated science, “galenic innovation requires multiple interactions and connections with other scientific disciplines : process development, analytical development, but also biopharmacy; Biomedicine studies the drug’s formulation impact of its absorption in the body or even pharmacology and toxicology” explains Nathalie Masson, the Innovation and Development Director at Unither Pharmaceuticals.
The galenic formulation is a major concern in the development of the innovative drug. It aims at, inter alia, “to deliver the active principle at the optimum concentration to ensure the best therapeutic efficiency at the lowest dose and to improve tolerance. In perpetual evolution, the galenic may refer to simple and complex forms, manufactured industrially by pharmaceutical laboratories. According to Nathalie Masson, “The concept of the advanced dosage forms lies in the perspective of design, development, characterization and evaluation of original galenic forms for molecules with a therapeutic purpose (tools and methods of drug vectorization, functional materials, new materials…).”
Extended release forms : an active research subject
Particularly developed in the 50s, oral and parenteral extended-release forms significantly improved the quality of life of patients, and more specifically of chronic patients.
“This particular type of modified release form enables not only to lengthen the duration of action of the medication, and therefore reduce the number of daily intakes, but also, in certain cases, to avoid peak blood levels and its side effects”, explains Nathalie Masson. The extended release forms are an active research subject that can be developed on a technical level, “thanks to multiple formulation principles and various manufacturing processes.
Implants and patches: improvements for multiple uses
The miniaturization of implants opens therapeutic perspectives for the future, stresses Nathalie Masson, because their placement is less and less invasive. “The implants distribute active ingredients that directly reaches their target. They have a positive impact on the efficiency, the treatment’s duration and the patient’s comfort compared to a conventional form”.
Implants based on biomaterials are also under development. “They are intended to treat, increase or replace a tissue, an organ or a function of the human body such as “repairing bone tissue by decreasing the length of hospital stay “.
Implants that electrically stimulate nerves to relieve low back pain by better stabilizing the spine are also a new treatment option. New patches are also emerging at an experimental stage: “with local action, diffusion of active principles in the form of nanoparticles or not, electrical or electromagnetic stimulation, thermal action by heating or, on the contrary, by cooling, micro-needles against food allergies, diagnostic patches to measure blood sugar continuously…. Their applications are very numerous, both to treat and to diagnose or even monitor the treatment effects. “
Meeting the challenges of galenic innovation : Unither strengths
“Unither wants to provide patients with practical (nomadic, single-dose, to be taken without water) and affordable products to improve the observance of treatments,” says Nathalie Masson.
Our liquid stick packs improve the texture and facilitate the swallowing of drugs. “It is particularly intended for children and the elderly, but also for all young adults who have difficulty swallowing drugs in the form of tablets or capsules. “
Unither has currently many projects under development: original combinations of already known active ingredients, new administration routes involving the blood-brain barrier, micro-emulsions, etc. “We are convinced that the improvement of observance does not only reside in the medication formulation. We are also working on new medication dispensing systems, which will eventually be connected to Smartphone applications, in order to help patients to better follow their treatment ”.