Lexaria Bioscience Corp (OTCMKTS:LXRP) (CSE:LXX), a specialist in drug delivery technology, revealed Thursday that it has initiated a program with top labs in the United States and Canada to study the benefits of the company’s DehydraTECH drug delivery platform for boosting the delivery and effectiveness of certain antiretroviral drugs being tapped in the fight against the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Researchers are currently investigating different antiretroviral drugs as potential candidates to combat the disease.
“Many of these are fat-soluble and present significant bioavailability challenges in successfully reaching the human bloodstream when administered in oral form,” the Kelowna, British Columbia-based company — which is an established leader in oral delivery of fat-soluble drugs — noted in a statement.
According to a medical journal, Lexaria's patented DehydraTECH technology delivers fat-soluble drugs with increases of up to 317% more drug quantified in the blood in a human clinical study within the first 30 minutes of dosing relative to concentration matched controls.
If DehydraTECH shows similar performance improvements in the drug delivery characteristics of antiviral drugs, it could be used to more effectively treat coronavirus patients, the company said.
As a first step in the research program, Lexaria intends to conduct a pilot human pharmacokinetic exploratory study in healthy volunteers of three antiretroviral drugs that have previously been studied against other coronavirus strains, comparing DehydraTECH formulations to controls without Lexaria's technology.
Lexaria intends to conduct the study at a leading Canadian University where a study design and plan have already been submitted for ethics board approval.
Additional research may include “expanded pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic screening,” including studies in appropriate “coronavirus animal models for efficacy evaluation,” it added.
Lexaria believes DehydraTECH may prove useful in fighting coronavirus and has held discussions with labs that may be able to expand the number of prospective drugs using DehydraTECH under evaluation for coronavirus applications.
Pending positive outcomes from its planned research activities, Lexaria said it will “aggressively engage with prospective strategic partners to improve drug development” as a drug delivery technology licensor and provider.
DehydraTECH is able to mask unwanted tastes, improve onset speed and increase the bioavailability of active pharmaceutical ingredients in a simple and cost-effective platform.
The company’s patented technology changes the way active pharmaceutical ingredients enter the bloodstream, promoting healthier ingestion, lower overall dosing and higher effectiveness for lipophilic active molecules. Lexaria is also developing DehydraTECH for nicotine and painkillers called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs for short.
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