Liège-Herstal (Belgium), 20th February 2015 – Synolyne Pharma has recently been granted two new patents in both Europe and the United States in relation to its chitosan-based microbeads. This is an innovative technology that is designed to fight against osteoarthritis progression.
Osteoarthritis is a debilitating pathology that affects over 100 million patients worldwide and incurs additional costs of approximately 1-2% of global GDP. To date, the lack of effective medicines able to cure osteoarthritis has presented opportunities for new treatments such as intra-articular injections that appear to represent a promising alternative to anti-inflammatory drugs.
Chitosan-based microbeads technology has resulted from a collaborative program conducted between the Bone and Cartilage Research Unit (BCRU, which is headed by Professor Yves Henrotin) from the University of Liège (ULG) and Kitozyme, a company that specializes in the design and manufacture of Consumer Health solutions based on unique non-animal biopolymers. Synolyne Pharma has benefitted from an exclusive worldwide license on this technology since it started up in June 2012.
« Visco-supplementation is a technique that consists of injecting into the joint a gel product with viscoelastic properties that are closely matched to those of the intra-articular synovial fluid. Visco-supplementation addresses the synovium degradation in patients suffering from osteoarthritis or professional athletes. Hydrogel containing chitosan-based microbeads should be a leading visco-supplementation treatment for the slowing down of Osteoarthritis » stated Professor Yves Henrotin, Director of BCRU, founder and Chairman of Synolyne Pharma. « The first results we have to hand confirm the potential of this technology as a positive boost in terms of efficacy » concluded Prof. Henrotin.
« The issuance of these two patents in Europe and the United States is great news for us and a key milestone in the development roadmap of our product portfolio in rheumatology » explained Dr Houtaï Choumane, CEO and Managing Director of Synolyne Pharma.
Chitosan microbeads technology is a founding pillar of Synolyne Pharma’s Vegetech insideTM platform, which is based on non-animal chitosan. « This ultrapure biopolymer is manufactured at our production plant in Liège according to strict and approved quality standards for medical use. This stringent approach ensures maximum safety and clinical performance » confirmed Dr Pierre Douette, Chief of Operations.
Remarkably deformable and elastic, chitosan microbeads are injected through very thin needles into the joint, where they act as shock absorbers and create a “ball bearing effect”. This innovative technology is expected to revolutionize the concept of visco-supplementation by treating joint diseases more effectively.
Having achieved this key step, Synolyne Pharma is now initiating the second phase of its development program. This aims at obtaining the CE mark of its product, which should pave the way for its commercial launch in Europe by 2017.