Scientists at CellGate Inc. say they have demonstrated that linking short peptide polymers of the amino acid arginine to a drug molecule will both increase the molecule's water solubility and help get it through the cell membrane. Moreover, this proprietary strategy for enhancing drug bioavailability appears to work with any class of compound. Harnessing this universal transporter technology, CellGate plans to build a service business around taking well-characterized molecules and turning them into better drugs.
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The traditional drug-delivery business model of service for hire has fallen from popularity. Big Pharmas are doing few deals of this sort, and investors want bigger returns than fees and royalties can provide. Start-ups with drug delivery technologies are increasingly using their platforms on their own behalf, to create products they can out-license or possibly market themselves. Now content--getting the molecules to be delivered--is an issue.
Data presented at AAAI meeting show reduced annualized asthma exacerbation rates across all patient populations, but doctors are unlikely to switch patients served well by existing biologics.