Crospon, which recently announced the finalisation of €2.3m in seed financing, will manufacture the skin patch and manage all marketing, sales and support of the technology.
Transdermal patches (which rely on absorption through the skin) for nicotine delivery have become a mainstay for smoking cessation programs; however, they have not been a widely effective delivery mechanism for many drugs because the skin acts as a natural barrier.
The HP-developed skin patch uses microneedles that barely penetrate the skin; this reduces the discomfort compared to traditional hypodermic needles, and enables the technique to be used with a much wider variety of drugs and biopharmaceuticals. The microneedles allow medication to quickly enter the bloodstream, resulting in the potential delivery of lower and more precise dosages.
HP initially developed the drug delivery technology as a way to repurpose its inkjet technology for use in new markets. The technology in the skin patch is similar to that employed in HP’s patented process for its inkjet cartridges.
The agreement between HP and Crospon resulted in part from HP’s relationship with Enterprise Ireland, an Irish government agency tasked with supporting and growing indigenous business in Ireland. Through Enterprise Ireland, companies can license the intellectual property of HP.