Medherant bags cash to move transdermal ibuprofen into human testing

A person wearing a transdermal patch (Courtesy of Medherant)

Medherant has raised $5 million. The round equips the drug delivery device specialist move its transdermal ibuprofen patch candidate into the clinic early next year.

Coventry, United Kingdom-based Medherant opened its doors in 2015 to develop transdermal patch technology originated at the University of Warwick. The technology, now known as TEPI Patch, is designed to overcome the limitations of existing transdermal delivery techniques, most notably by enabling the administration of a wider range of drugs in larger quantities. 

Ibuprofen will serve as a proving ground for the technology. In preclinical tests, patches loaded with the drug released it steadily over 24 hours, raising hopes the product can emerge as a long-acting over-the-counter treatment for chronic back pain, neuralgia and other conditions. 

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With majority shareholder Mercia Technologies contributing about $3.3 million and other backers chipping in around half that amount, Medherant now has the money to manufacture its ibuprofen product for use in clinical trials. Medherant hopes to start the study in the spring. 

Work on the ibuprofen candidate and a methyl salicylate prospect is advancing in parallel to talks about making the technology available to third parties. 

“Our TEPI Patch technology is generating global interest and we are now working with several leading pharmaceutical companies at the same time as we develop our own product pipeline,” Medherant CEO Nigel Davis said in a statement.