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UCSF collaborates with Zcube to develop new ways to deliver drugs
Date:2/28/2011

A pill filled with microscopic, drug-laden adhesive patches is at the center of an agreement between UCSF and Zcube srl, the research corporate venture arm of Italian pharmaceutical leader Zambon Co., SpA, to license UCSF-developed microtechnology and support early research into new ways to deliver oral medications directly to a targeted site in the body.

This is the first sponsored research agreement between Zcube and UCSF, but is expected to be one of several such agreements with the biomedical university.

Sponsored research agreements underscore UCSF's commitment to finding innovative ways to bridge the gap between basic research and real-world applications. They reflect continued efforts by the UCSF Office of Technology Management and Industry Contracts Division to help faculty research efforts bear fruit, while protecting the academic freedom and basic research for which UCSF is widely known.

The initial two-year agreement will support research in the UCSF Desai Laboratory into delivering drugs directly to the small intestine and colon. The exclusive, worldwide license agreement will offer milestone payments and royalties for a UCSF-patented microdevice developed by the Desai Laboratory to deliver medications for various diseases, including colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.

"This partnership is unusual because it goes beyond licensing a technology, to fund early-stage innovation in drug delivery systems," said Tejal Desai, PhD, a professor of Bioengineering and Therapeutic Sciences in the UCSF School of Pharmacy. "That research is exactly what we need to do to see whether these systems will work."

The microdevice resembles a tiny, square Band-Aid with reservoirs in the middle for medication. Hundreds of these structures, each as wide as a human hair, would be packaged into a normal-sized pill, which would break down and release them into the intestine. The micropads would then stick onto the gastro-intestina
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Contact: Kristen Bole
kristen.bole@ucsf.edu
415-502-6397
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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