Industry observation I GLP-1 microneedle patch latest progress
Click:156  Update time:2023-11-10  【Close

Photo credit: Big Bear Pharmaceutical


South Korea's Daewoong Pharmaceutical (Daewoong Pharmaceutical) on November 7, 2023 disclosed the development of a new obesity treatment drug synthetic peptide semaglutide, which resembles a hormone released in the gut in response to food, can reduce appetite and release insulin.


"Bear Heart Ambition" - Big Bear Pharmaceutical challenge to develop GLP-1 microneedle patch


Seoul, South Korea, Nov. 7, 2023 - Daixiong Pharmaceutical said Monday it will develop a microneedle patch based treatment for obesity. The South Korean pharmaceutical company plans to start phase 1 clinical trials next year and launch the treatment in 2028.


Big Bear's new obesity treatment will contain a synthetic peptide, semaglutide, that is similar to glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), a hormone produced in the gut and released in response to food that reduces appetite and releases insulin.


The microneedle patch for obesity treatment is designed to measure 1 square centimeter and uses dissolvable microneedles loaded with drugs to penetrate the outer layer of the skin to deliver drug ingredients to the patient. The company says patients will be able to easily receive the drug and minimize the fear and inconvenience associated with injections of existing injectable GLP-1 agonists.


Photo source: Big Bear Pharmaceutical financial report


"The use of the microneedle patch for obesity treatment will improve the overall medication compliance of obese patients who must receive regular doses," a Daexiong Pharmaceutical official told the Korea Herald. Patients only need to use the microneedle patch obesity treatment once a week.


The new treatment also aims to eliminate common side effects of microneedle patches, such as skin swelling or lumps, to improve the treatment experience, Big Bear added. To develop a SMD treatment for obesity, Bear will also apply its own microneedle platform technology, the Closed Pneumatic Microneedle (CLOPAM).


"Although microneedles have been widely used in cosmetics, their use in medicine has been limited due to issues involving drug capacity and transdermal absorption. Big Bear's CLOPAM technology is designed to ensure effective drug delivery and minimize drug loss." Big Bear's microneedle platform technology will allow patients to store and use therapeutic drugs at room temperature, the official added.


Big Bear's microneedle platform was developed by its research and development unit, Daewoong Therapeutics. Daxiong Pharmaceutical has applied for 23 microneedle technology patents in Korea and registered six international patents. The company said it has received an offer from a global pharmaceutical company to collaborate on developing other drugs based on microneedle technology.


Big Bear Pharma researchers demonstrate the company's microneedle platform through a microscope

Photo credit: Daexiong Pharmaceutical/Korea Herald


With the development of microneedle patches for obesity treatment, Big Bear aims to enter the rapidly growing global obesity treatment market, the company said. Citing data from Morgan Stanley, the firm said the global obesity treatment market is expected to grow to 104 trillion won ($80 billion) by 2030.


"Daixiong will continue to develop novel microneedle patch obesity therapies for patients with unmet medical needs," said Jeon Seung-ho, chief executive officer of Daixiong.


At the same time, Big Bear Pharma is also conducting research to develop its new diabetes drug Enblo (enavogliflozin, SGLT-2) as a potential treatment for obesity.


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Semaglutide (Semaglutide) is a glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) analogue, the original research company is Novo Nordisk. By promoting insulin secretion and inhibiting glucagon secretion in a glucose concentration-dependent mechanism, the product can significantly improve blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of hypoglycemia, which can significantly reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events (MACE) in patients with type 2 diabetes. In addition, Semaglutide can also induce weight loss by reducing appetite and reducing food intake.


For the 12 months from July 2020 to June 2021, global sales of Semaglutide preparations were US $8.73 billion (including US $7.70 billion for pre-filled injectors and US $1.03 billion for oral tablets), an increase of 97.9% over the same period last year. Global sales of Semaglutide are forecast to reach US $25.08 billion in 2030, with a CAGR of 14.8% from 2020 to 2030.


Since the beginning of this year, GLP-1 drugs represented by Simeaglutide and Liraglutide have obtained the publicity of well-known people such as Musk and the ultra-high valuation of international investment bank jpmorgan Chase, and the heat has continued to soar, which has also prompted global pharmaceutical companies to invest in the exploration and development of GLP-1 new drug delivery methods. The Smaglutid microneedle patch developed by Big Bear Pharmaceutical does not require patients to be equipped with portable injection refrigeration equipment, and only needs to be used once a week, which greatly solves the shortcomings of existing dosage forms such as frequent self-injection for patients, unprofessional injection operation and injection pain. We look forward to the smooth progress of the project of Big Bear Pharmaceutical to provide new solutions for delivery methods other than injection of biological agents.


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