An Australian drug delivery company called Acrux specializes in administering medicines through the skin. It has recently reported positive results for its Phase I clinical results of a contraceptive for women in the form of a spray.
The novel contraceptive spray called Nestorone MDTS is being developed in collaboration with a US-based research group 'The Population Council'. Interestingly the Phase I pharmacokinetic study showed that once-a-day dosing of the contraceptive spray Nestorone MDTS provided sustained delivery of the contraceptive agent.
Nestorone is a fourth-generation progestin is well tolerated, with no serious adverse events. A once a day application delivers consistent amounts through the skin to the blood stream. The contraceptive skin spray has the potential advantages of not having to be taken at exactly the same time each day and being suitable for breast-feeding mothers, according to Acrux, which also said the system has reduced skin irritation compared to patches.
The transdermal delivery system for drugs is a big market worth over $3 billion a year in the US alone and is growing at a rapid pace.
The transdermal delivery of drugs has some distinct advantages over oral or intravenous dosing of drugs. It avoids issues such as gastric irritability due to changes in pH that occur with oral dosing and variable transit times in the gut resulting in rapid fluctuations in plasma concentrations.