LyoGo, developer of drug-delivery devices, joins Purdue Research Park

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A company that specializes in developing devices to deliver injected freeze-dried drugs, diagnostics and vaccines has become a tenant in the Purdue Research Park.

LyoGo, founded in 2009 by Rush Bartlett, Arthur Chlebowski and Peter Greco, has developed patent-pending technology that stores a lyophilized, or freeze-dried, drug in one chamber and liquid diluents in the other. David Giddings, a medical industry veteran with more than 30 years of experience, is CEO. Charles Haywood, business development adviser, also is president and CEO of Mansfield-King, a contract manufacturer of personal-care products that was the fifth-fastest growing company in Indiana in 2010.

Bartlett said other devices that mix and administer lyophilized drugs are costly and require between six and 12 steps to operate. As a result, a majority of these freeze-dried drugs are mixed by hand using a simple syringe and a vial.

"These steps are very dangerous and difficult for anyone, which can result in needle stick injuries or being intimidated by the process. These concerns hinder patient compliance, resulting in the spread and progression of a disease," he said. "LyoGo's devices have a one-step mixing process prior to injection. Unlike standard devices, they are projected to be very low cost to manufacture and fill."

Bartlett said LyoGo-designed devices also improve a drug's shelf life because it is stored separately from the liquid diluent.

"Freeze-dried drugs that are kept separate from the liquid until mixing generally don't require much, if any, refrigeration," he said. "They can be stored for years at room temperature, compared to only a few hours for a lot of the prefilled liquid drugs."

Nearly half of the injected drugs in the development pipeline must be freeze-dried in order to be stored, along with more than 100 types of drugs, diagnostic reagents and vaccines developed in the 1990s and 2000s that now are coming off-patent.

"This leaves drug companies with the issue of losing more than 50 percent of a drug's value to generics virtually overnight unless they differentiate in the market by adding novel drug-delivery technology like the devices LyoGo has in development," Bartlett said. "There are more than 200 different markets that we have identified as being possible contenders to use our technology, including government stockpiles of vaccines and drugs for diabetes and cancer."

LyoGo has completed preliminary prototyping with Rose-Hulman Ventures and has raised $150,000 in funding in awards from groups like the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, NASA, and business plan competitions.

About LyoGo

LyoGo was formed for the purpose of developing innovative drug-delivery systems. LyoGo is focused on engineering delivery systems which offer a superior user experience, are intuitive to use, improve safety and sterility, and substantially reduce or eliminate the need for refrigeration at room temperature, which improves drug storage and distribution. LyoGo develops systems for delivering drugs that are intentionally designed to easily fit into the established drug-filling processes of leading pharmaceutical companies.

About Purdue Research Park

The Purdue Research Park, with four locations across Indiana, has the largest university-affiliated business incubation complex in the country. The parks are home to about 200 companies that employ 4,000 people and are located in West Lafayette, Indianapolis, Merrillville and New Albany.