Oxford Pharmascience, a specialist pharmaceutical firm, has signed a licensing agreement with the University of Oxford in the UK to develop and commercialise a taste-masking product called OxpZero.
This technology allows acidic and anionic drugs to be administered orally without bad taste or irritation in non-tablet form and without affecting the release properties of the drug.
OxpZero is suitable for the development of liquids, gels, chewables and orally disintegrating tablets (ODTs) where taste, irritation or stability of the drug active or finished product have previously hindered successful results.
The firm has already used OxpZero to demonstrate taste-masked ibuprofen liquid and chewable products without the typical burning sensation on the throat and with the same release profile of standard products.
The burning sensation of ibuprofen has prevented the successful formulation of doses over 100mg per 5ml in suspension, the firm says. OxpZero can deliver 400mg/5ml or higher without these side effects.
Oxford Pharmascience is initially offering OxpZero solutions for a range of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) including ibuprofen, diclofenac, mefenamic acid and naproxen.
Marcelo Bravo, chief technology officer of Oxford Pharmascience, said: ‘We are initially focusing our efforts on NSAIDs, but our technology can be applied to a range of products across a broad spectrum of therapeutic areas including statins, antibiotics, gaba-analogues, ACE inhibitors and many other important acidic drugs.’
The firm recently raised £1.1m to help it initiate commercialisation of its pipeline of NSAID and statin-based technologies, as well as to develop its business in Brazil.