Crospon sets up company to develop the patch that could eliminate needles

Galway-based medical device developer Crospon this week announced that its drug delivery technology platform has been spun out into a distinct company, Janisys, as a result of the continued development of the product prototype.

The Janisys drug delivery platform, which leverages ink-jet printing technology licensed from HP, enables painless, controlled, release of one or more drugs in a single patch to the skin. The announcement, which coincides with Crospon’s participation at the 14th annual Drug Delivery Partnership Conference in Orlando, Florida, details that the new spin out is at a late stage in developing functional prototypes of its active microneedle-based transdermal system and intends to begin pre-clinical trials in 2010.

Janisys has secured co-development funding from a leading pharmaceutical company to progress the initial prototype development of Janisys, and the company will be seeking to engage in a round of fundraising during the first half of 2010 for completion of the commercial version of the system. The spin out of Janisys follows the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA ) approval of Crospon’s flagship gastroenterology product, EndoFLIP

Speaking at the Drug Delivery Partnership Conference, John O’Dea, chief executive officer, Crospon, said the announcement is an exciting step in the continued development of the Janisys drug delivery system.

“This industry-first skin patch will offer a superior drug delivery platform for doctors and patients. We look forward to engaging in pre-clinical trials later this year.”

Transdermal patches (which rely on absorption through the skin ) for nicotine delivery have become a mainstay for smoking cessation and pain management programs; however, they have not been a widely effective delivery mechanism for many drugs because the skin acts as a natural barrier.

The Janisys skin patch delivers medication intradermally – just below the surface of the skin – thereby expanding the range of drugs and biopharmaceuticals for which patches may be used. The patch uses microneedles that barely penetrate the skin, which radically reduces discomfort compared to traditional hypodermic needles. The device will enable precise control of dosage timing, access to dosage history, patient activation mechanisms and will include inherent safety protocols for preventing adverse drug interactions.

Established in 2006, Crospon is a medical device company focused on the monitoring and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD ). Company co-founder and CEO, John O’Dea, previously co-founded Caradyne, a respiratory products company which was acquired by Respironics Inc in 2004.

Earlier this month Crospon announced the completion of a €2 million round of funding and that the company’s flagship gastroenterology product, EndoFLIP® has received clearance from the US Food and Drugs Administration. Obtaining FDA clearance for the EndoFLIP® device is another significant milestone in the product’s development. This clearance will permit the company to sell EndoFLIP® in the US market and assist Crospon in continuing to build the clinical evidence base to support wider indications for use of EndoFLIP®, particularly in the bariatric surgery area. During 2009, Crospon announced the establishment of a US operation in Carlsbad, California.

In 2008, Crospon announced that it had completed an additional funding round of €3.5m. This funding was primarily used for the completion of development, manufacturing start-up and preparation to market of the EndoFLIP® system.

Crospon received the Overall Medical Technology Excellence Award and the Gold Award for Innovation and Research and Development at the Irish Medical Device Association Awards and is currently shortlisted in the Innovator of the Year category for the SFA National Business Awards 2010.

The Irish Medical Devices Association (IMDA ) is an IBEC group that represents the medical technology sector in Ireland, and the IMDA Industry Excellence Awards are supported by Enterprise Ireland and the IDA. Crospon was also awarded the Connacht Business Achievers Award for 2008 in the ‘Ones to Watch’ category, and the company’s Smart Drug Delivery Patch made with technology licensed from HP was listed in Popular Science magazine’s annual ‘Best of What’s New’ for 2008.

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