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Should you be developing a Platform Drug Delivery Device?

A Drug Delivery Platform is a well-characterised and flexible 'engine' based on protectable IP that can be tuned to realise a range of drug delivery devices to address market opportunities.

Platform Drug Delivery Devices (PDDDs) such as for inhaled or parenteral delivery are attractive because of the potential for shorter development times and lower manufacturing cost. They can offer pharmaceutical companies a fast-track and efficient route to market for a number of products within their portfolio and are increasingly forming part of their IP strategy. Despite the apparent appetite for PDDD there is uncertainty around how to deliver an effective device.  Companies are considering how a Drug Delivery Platform could be incorporated into their portfolio of product developments and if shorter development times and lower manufacturing costs can be realised.

PA recently helped a global biopharmaceutical company to develop a drug delivery strategy for their portfolio and pipeline drugs.  The brief was to identify how to maximise the value of the drug assets through the application of both device and formulation drug delivery technology. We identified which drugs best benefited from the application of custom and platform technologies, analysed the competitive environment, identified suitable drug delivery technologies and assessed the priority and risk associated with each.  As a result the company was able to progress the development of new, higher value products which will be more competitive in the market.

Part of the difficulty in breaking through with a Platform Device is that many of the initial development steps are counter intuitive to the traditional approach of developing a delivery device for a particular drug product. In our experience, many pharmaceutical companies find it difficult to commit resources to developing a platform technology that will not, at first, be targeted to deliver any one of the products in their portfolio without further development. 

PDDD development requires a radically different approach starting with a portfolio review to identify product groupings where design commonality and delivery requirements intersect. This is essential to justify the development of the platform technology and to identify the commercial benefits that delivery of a range of pharmaceutical products through a single platform can bring. The product groupings may not be immediately obvious as they require the input of a diverse range of stakeholders including pharmaceutical product developers, market specialists and device technologists. 

The identification of suitable product groupings is a key step that allows an innovation space to be established to develop a truly platform product. This can then be used as the basis for defining targets and boundaries for the platform development.  Without this process, the development of a platform technology can easily lose focus and revert to a drug-specific development.

Our work in this area has allowed us to develop a robust approach and process to tackling platform drug delivery device development.  Through a process of portfolio review coupled with experience of all stages of the development process, we can help you determine whether a Drug Delivery Platform should feature in your delivery device portfolio.

To discuss developing a drug delivery platform for your organisation, please contact us now.

Mark Humphries
Product development and manufacturing
contact us now

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