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Novel Technology Breaks Through Cancer Pain

Saturday, August 18, 2007 General News J E 4
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MORRISVILLE, N.C., Aug. 16 Cancer patients fraught withflare-ups of pain, or breakthrough pain, may soon receive some assistance inthe form of a new easy-to-use oral drug delivery system developed byBioDelivery Sciences designed to quickly deliver pain medication.

Cancer patients frequently experience two types of pain: persistent andbreakthrough. Persistent cancer pain is characterized as continuous painpresent for long periods of time, and often most of the day. Persistent painis treated by daily or regular doses of pain medication.

Breakthrough pain is a brief and often severe shooting of pain that"breaks through" a patient's continuous medication for persistent pain.Breakthrough pain often has a rapid onset and lasts a short duration of time.It is called breakthrough pain because it "breaks through" a regular painmedicine schedule.

"Breakthrough pain is caused either by the cancer itself or the cancertreatment. For some patients, the pain is connected to certain activities,such as walking or dressing. For others, it occurs unexpectedly," says Dr.Andrew Finn, BioDelivery Sciences' VP of Product Development.

One breakthrough pain medication is the opiate fentanyl. Fentanyl is apotent opioid analgesic (painkiller) first developed in the 1950s, and long inuse by the medical community for controlling various types of pain.

The next generation product able to quickly deliver fentanyl for thetreatment of cancer breakthrough pain is a patient-friendly, small oraladhesive disc called BEMA Fentanyl, which has recently completed Phase IIItrials by BioDelivery Sciences. The BEMA technology is a very small layereddisc that is applied to a mucosal surface (inner lining of the mouth) in asimilar way a transdermal disc is applied to the skin.

The small disc is composed of an adhesive layer and a non-adhesive backinglayer. The disc adheres to the inside cheeks and delivers the dose ofmedication quickly into the bloodstream. Instead of requiring removal uponcompletion of the drug delivery, the BEMA disc disintegrates in the mouth andleaves no drug residue.

The results of the Phase III pivotal efficacy clinical trial in cancerpatients with breakthrough pain announced earlier this year with BEMA Fentanylare very encouraging.

"The results of our study demonstrated that fentanyl could be deliveredrapidly, effectively and easily using the BEMA technology," said Finn."Besides allowing greater absorption of fentanyl, the BEMA disc was easier touse, as it only required seconds to apply."

It is estimated that at least 60 percent of people with advanced cancerwill experience significant pain of some type, oftentimes includingbreakthrough pain. For more information on BEMA Fentanyl, log on tohttp://www.bdsinternational.com/

SOURCE BioDelivery Sciences
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