Recent Patents on Drug Delivery & Formulation (v.5, #2)

Exploring Novel Approaches to Vaginal Drug Delivery by Sonal Gupta, Reema Gabrani, Javed Ali, Shweta Dang (82-94).
Vaginal route serves as a potential site of drug administration for local and systemic absorption of a variety oftherapeutic agents. Despite being a non- invasive route of drug administration, the vagina has not been extensivelyexplored as compared to other routes. Intravaginal drug delivery has been traditionally restricted to delivery ofantinfectives to the local vaginal cavity. Concerted efforts have been made in the recent past to rediscover the vaginalroute as a potential route for the delivery of therapeutically important molecules, proteins, peptides, small interferingRNAs, oligonucleotides, antigens, vaccines and hormones. The understanding of vaginal physiology has led to the designof specific intravaginal drug delivery systems to reach the systemic circulation. To overcome the limitations ofconventional dosage forms administered through vaginal route various novel approaches like the use of mucoadhesive orbioadhesive polymers, pH- or temperature-sensitive polymers, liposomes, nanoemulsions, nanoparticles, vaginal inserts,multiple emulsions and hydrogels have been designed which enable controlled and prolonged release of drugs. Thepresent article is a comprehensive review of the research and patents encompassing conventional dosage forms used forvaginal drug delivery with emphasis on newer platform technologies pertaining to intravaginal administration.

Microneedles and their Applications by Vishal Sachdeva, Ajay K. Banga (95-132).
Microneedle mediated microporation has proved its potential to enhance the delivery of therapeutic drugmolecules through skin over the last one decade. Several patents have been granted and cutting edge research is going onparticularly for the delivery of biopharmaceuticals (macromolecules like protein or peptides). The technology involves useof micron sized needles made of diverse materials to form microchannels into the stratum corneum (or deeper), outermostbarrier layer of the skin. These microchannels are deep enough to facilitate efficient drug delivery through disruptedstratum corneum but short enough to avoid bleeding or pain. So far, the microneedle technology has been explored fordrug and vaccine delivery through transcutaneous route. However, the miniaturized nature of these microneedles andanticipated minimal invasiveness has led the scientists to explore and patent its possible use for several other applications.The use of this technology in combination with other enhancement techniques has also gained recent attention. Thisreview article focuses on the latest developments in the field of microneedles as described in patent and researchliterature. Comprehensive review of several topics including device design/fabrication, formulation development,safety/regulatory issues, therapeutic applications and major challenges in the commercialization of microneedles asmedical devices has been presented here.

Parenteral Drug Delivery: A Review by Neha Gulati, Himanshu Gupta (133-145).
The parenteral route of administration is the most effective route for the delivery of the active pharmaceuticalsubstances with narrow therapeutic index, poor bioavailability especially for those drugs, prescribed to unconsciouspatients. To maintain a therapeutic effective concentration of the drug, it requires frequent injections which ultimatelylead to patient discomfort. In parenteral drug delivery, major progress has been done in the field of formulationtechnologies so as to provide a targeted and sustained release of drug in predictable manner. The present article reviewsrecent patents and major advancements in parenteral drug delivery systems along with general introduction. This articlealso deals with importance of novel systems in drug delivery to overcome the problems associated with conventionalparenteral drug delivery systems.

The eye due to its special attributes is an effortlessly accessible location for topical drug administration.Topical administration not only provides local targeting of drugs but also offers a better control over the systemicdelivery. Bioavailability of drugs from ocular dosage forms is dependent to the precorneal loss factors (physiological andanatomical constraints of eye) thus, very small fraction of the drug is absorbed through ocular route. The effective dose ofmedication administered ophthalmically may be altered by changing the formulation. Various research reports have beendocumented for ocular drug delivery, both on academic level as well as commercial level resulting in augmented increasein the numbers of patents in this field. The primary objective of the present review is to provide an overview of the oculardrug delivery systems with special emphasis on the intellectual aspects of these systems. This paper also attempts toextend the information on ocular drug delivery systems already existing in the literature by focusing on the update on thepatents granted as well as applications published for these systems during the last decade.

Nanoemulsions have garnered considerable attention in research as well as in therapeutics due to theiradvantages like thermodynamic stability, optical clarity, ease of preparation, and unique property of behaving as supersolventfor solubilizing both hydrophobic and hydrophilic solutes. Due to above mentioned attributes, nanoemulsions findnumerous applications in diagnosis as well as therapy of diseases. Hence, the aim of the current review is to recapitulatethese applications of this novel drug delivery system by discussing the patents governing various applications of thissystem.

Patent Selections: by Bentham Science Publishers (173-175).
The patents annotated in this section have been selected from various patent databases. These recent patents are relevant tothe articles published in this journal issue, categorized by therapeutic areas/targets and therapeutic agents related to drugdelivery and formulations.