LONDON (SHARECAST) - Oxford Pharmascience, a speciality pharmaceutical company, has taken up its option to exclusively license a drug delivery technology from UCL Business, the intellectual property licensing arm of University College London.
Under this arrangement, the firm will develop and commercialise a range of re-formulated statins, using the generic drugs atorvastatin and simvastatin, both of which are cholesterol-lowering treatments.
Oxford Pharmascience has established the feasibility of the delivery system in working with these drugs and has undertaken a commercial evaluation to identify the potential for a range of statin products which it is launching under its Safestat programme.
Under this programme the firm plans to re-formulate the widely used molecules of atorvastatin and simvastatin into doses up to four times lower than the original dose but with the same fatty molecule lowering efficacy as the original higher dose. Early research into the concept has been extremely well received by both clinicians and healthcare payers alike, the company said.
Nigel Theobald, Chief Executive of Oxford Pharmascience, commented: "Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death worldwide and statins have become widely adopted as a key drug to help combat this. Global revenue from statins in 2009 was over $27bn despite the debate which is ongoing about their benefit compared to the issues caused by side effects of statins and the lack of compliance in patients taking these medicines which often results in cholesterol reduction targets being missed.
"We are developing our Safestat programme to help combat these issues. By reducing the dose of the drug but maintaining its efficacy our statin products look well placed to become a leading treatment as a second line intervention for cholesterol reduction.
"Early commercial conversations are very encouraging and we are looking to license our technology to major pharmaceutical companies to co-develop products using this technology. Our safestat programme is a massive opportunity for us to take our delivery systems into much larger established pharmaceutical markets."