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Q Chip Ltd To Develop Biopharmaceutical Portfolio Based On Its Established Bioencapsulation Technology

9/23/2009 10:57:29 AM

Cardiff, UK, 22 September 2009 – Q Chip, a biopharmaceutical drug delivery company, is developing a range of sustained-release biosimilars using its patented Q-Sphera™ bioencapsulation platform. Q-Sphera is an enabling technology for peptide and protein delivery and a lower cost formulation and production platform for biosimilars. The first two drugs under development using the Q-Sphera delivery system are the biosimilars, Q-Leuprolide (primary indications in prostate cancer and endometriosis) and Q-Octreotide (primary indications in acromegaly, and palliative care). Q-Leuprolide and Q-Octreotide are three- and one-month sustained release microsphere formulations respectively. Q Chip’s Q-Sphera technology offers several potential solutions to overcome the issues with biotherapy delivery, most notably via minimisation of protein and peptidal degradation and lower cost of production. The Q-Sphera drug-loaded microspheres are produced using bioresorbable polymers, and at 80 microns in diameter are injectable using 27-29 needle gauge devices.

Encapsulation of biotherapies into bioresorbable microspheres enables sustained and improved drug delivery. Q-Sphera is manufactured using Q Chip’s established bio-encapsulation platform which eliminates many of the limitations of conventional pharmaceutical microencapsulation methods. In particular, Q-Sphera microparticles are monodisperse with a CV (coefficient of variance) of less than 2%. Particle size significantly influences drug release characteristics and there is a direct correlation between consistent particle size and consistent drug release and therapeutic performance. Q-Sphera microspheres also typically have a high drug load with a correspondingly high activity.

Q-Leuprolide and Q-Octreotide are in pre-clinical phase with bioequivalence studies planned for completion in 2011.

“Our Q-Sphera technology has been perfected over the last 2 years to effectively protect and deliver biological molecules in a very controlled way”, said Ken Powell, Q Chip’s Executive Chairman. “Although realistic about the challenges, we are highly optimistic that these trials will be a success because of the significant advantages compared to conventional methods of encapsulation. As well as our advantageous technology, Q Chip is backed up by a management team that is experienced in the development of biopharmaceuticals augmented by a team of industry experts so we are well-placed to successfully deliver on this programme.”

In 2004 Q Chip developed the world’s first fully-functioning MicroPlant™ platform for the production of commercial volumes of uniform, precisely-loaded microcapsules using a wide range of biocompatible polymers.

This technology was acquired from Cardiff University in 2003.

Q Chip’s board of directors is lead by Ken Powell, with over 30 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical industry and academia. Ken set up Inpharmatica (now part of Galapagos NV) and Ark Therapeutics (now LSE listed) in addition to Arrow Therapeutics which he founded with five colleagues in 1998. Arrow has multiple products in clinical and preclinical development and was recently sold to Astra-Zeneca PLC for $150 million.

Q Chip’s primary investors are: Curzon Park Capital, E-Synergy, Forum of The Future, Fusion Cardiff Ltd and Finance Wales Investments Ltd.

Q Chip’s Q-Sphera™ was formerly known as BiologiX™.

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