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StrataGent Delivers

What is tinier than a matchbox and can be programmed to deliver specified doses of any drug across the skin as fast as an injection but without pain?

The answer is StrataGent Life Sciences, Inc.’s new patch device that can be worn for days at a time to painlessly deliver drugs. Based on pulsed liquid microjet technology invented at Stanford, the device creates small, high-speed jets of liquid that penetrate the outer layer of the skin and precisely deposit drugs into the epidermis (the top layer of skin), enabling rapid absorption by the body, while avoiding the pain receptors that lie below in the dermis. This means that the device delivers drugs as effectively as an injection, but without needles.

The original microjet developed at Stanford required a desktop box that was the size of a DVD player. StrataGent has been working hard for over two years to miniaturize it into a wearable, light, discreet patch. They have also been working on features like the ability to program the patch to deliver drugs according to different schedules. Depending on the disease, large doses can be given intermittently, or small amounts of drug can be given continually. Patient controlled on-demand dosing and sensor driven dosing are also possible.

StrataGent Life Sciences, based in the San Jose BioCenter, is the recipient of an Advanced Technology Program award, a competitive award granted by the federal government, which has funded much of its technology development and testing. Extensive animal testing has demonstrated that the device successfully delivers its drug payload systemically, including injectable macromolecules (such as peptides or proteins), with onset comparable to a standard injection, and without skin irritation.

The next step for the company is to initiate clinical trials. The company plans to use the device to deliver generic or in-licensed drugs, or to partner and co-develop therapies with drug companies. They already have their first partner, a leading Japanese pharmaceutical company, that is funding new studies. StrataGent is currently looking for funding to conduct its first clinical studies.