3M Refines Transdermal Drug Delivery; Acquires ACE Product Line

Sept. 17, 2009
CP 50 company uses its core strengths to address customer needs.

3M produces thousands of products for dozens of diverse markets. According to the St. Paul, Minn.-based company, its core strength is applying its more than 40 distinct technology platforms – often in combination – to a wide array of customer needs. The company sees delivering medicines through the skin as one of those needs.

However, the skin’s inherent barrier properties limit the size and type of molecules that can passively diffuse at rates sufficient for therapeutic effect. 3M is leveraging core technology in microstructured materials and processes to expand the range of medications that can be delivered transdermally to patients.

3M Drug Delivery Systems recently presented research showing that it has created a hollow microstructured transdermal system (hMTS) integrated device for delivery of large molecules not typically compatible with transdermal delivery. The research, presented at the annual meeting of the Controlled Release Society in Copenhagen, Denmark, July 2009, demonstrates the potential for the hMTS device to deliver peptides and proteins, including antibodies.

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In experiments to determine the effectiveness of the technology, researchers conducted comparative studies, evaluating the pharmacokinetic (PK) profiles and bioavailability of model drug compounds delivered via the hMTS device and a traditional syringe injection. They found that administration via the hMTS device was a good match to injection in both respects. The delivery of antibodies and proteins was just as efficient as a syringe, a critical element of any delivery platform targeted at high-cost biopharmaceutical drugs.

“This system opens the door to a new delivery option for drugs that have previously been administered by injection,” says Kris Hansen, MTS New Technology and Product Development Manager. “Traditionally, transdermal delivery has been limited to classes of molecules that can be absorbed through the skin. However, this research shows that hMTS can provide efficient and fast intradermal infusion of large molecules, providing access to transdermal delivery for much of the biopharmaceutical market.”

In other news, 3M announced that it recently acquired ACE (and related brands) elastic bandage, supports and thermometer product lines from Becton, Dickinson and Company. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

 “ACE is a great extension of our consumer products portfolio," says Gabi Sabongi, vice president, R&D and New Business Ventures of 3M Consumer and Office Business. "ACE brings to our company an iconic brand with admirable consumer loyalty. ACE and its related brands also broaden our channels for consumer products, including the sporting goods channel.”

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