What it does
Avro is developing transdermal drug delivery systems, starting with fun and colorful medicated stickers for children to fight their seasonal allergies. We turn the chore of taking allergy medication into a rewarding task for both parents and children.
Both of our founders suffer from debilitating allergies ranging from rhinitis to food allergies. Coincidentally, both founders also suffered from dysphagia, or the inability to swallow pills as children. We've felt the struggle of fighting against allergies for as long as we can remember, so we want to see our idea to fruition out of principle as much as practice. Over 25M children suffer from seasonal allergies across North America, and ¼ of them suffer from dysphagia. The biggest problem is child compliance; no matter how small the pill, kids won't take it if they don't want to. We're making lives easier for parents and children everywhere.
How it works
We've developed a system for the delivery of desloratadine (DSL) to the bloodstream. This is made up of a novel polymer matrix in which desloratadine is contained, and gradually delivered by passive diffusion out of the patch and into the skin and ultimately the bloodstream, over the course of a day. Our patent-pending biopolymer matrix carries the drug, and controls the release rate of the drug. Through transdermal delivery, DSL dissolves through the layers of the skin, and into the capillary beds, allowing for a constant dose of allergy medication to quickly reach the bloodstream, while decreasing the high concentrations through the liver from oral meds, and reducing side effects. Our polymer is completely natural (it's safe enough to eat!) and biodegradable, and may be suitable for the delivery of many other drugs, which we are currently exploring. We are now testing solutions for children and the elderly, particularly analgesics and antidepressants.
Our design always began as a patch, but has evolved in both size (originally the size of a petri dish, now the size of a toonie) and properties. Through different polymer choices and films we developed, we went from opaque, unevenly mixed films to a clear, firm, but non adhesive film, to finally a clear, flexible, and naturally adhesive matrix. Our improvement process often came down to developing better procedures, and learning more polymer chemistry, along with some lucky guesses. Now that we have scientific validation of its function in humans, we are focusing on the design of the patch, to make it visually appealing to children. Avro is currently at a Technology Readiness Level of 6 - with a recent test that was successful in alleviating allergy symptoms in a human within 20 minutes of applying the patch. Our analytical data shows >95% of the drug is released within 10 hours, with a release profile that indicates a steady dose of antihistamine throughout the entire day. Moreover, we have been working with local manufacturers to begin producing larger scale batches of our product for clinical testing. We are currently partnered with Bayer Inc to further our prototype development as we prepare for small clinical studies, in order to get pharmacokinetic data from humans.
How it is different
Currently, we are patent pending on our unique transdermal patch matrix that will be able to house pharmaceuticals such as, but not limited to antihistamines. We are the only company in the world to commercialize technology at the intersection of the transdermal patch, pediatric healthcare, and allergy medication markets. At the moment, the transdermal patch market is fairly unsaturated - only 2 OTC patches exist in the USA, and 20 more prescription patches. It's also a market that's ripe for innovation, and the majority of patches developed are for post-operative care, or much more serious diseases; we are one of the only companies in the world to develop transdermal solutions in the OTC space. The paediatric allergy market has been growing by 60.9% since 2011, but it has not seen innovation in a long time; there are no products that serve the same purpose as we do, except for pills and syrups. Parents want a better solution for child compliance.
As a medical device and pharmaceutical combination product, our patch falls under Class II with the FDA. This pathway warrants 510(k) approval by demonstrating bioequivalence to current allergy products on the market. We plan to complete human trials for in-vivo validation of our technology before FDA and Health Canada approval. We have plans to leverage our proprietary patch technology to deliver a number of other drugs, including antidepressants and antipsychotics, molecules with low bioavailability, short half lives, and many side effects. We also hope to add to our current Letters of Intent by reaching out to large pharmacies.
Velocity Fund Final 5K Velocity Fund Final 25K GSEA Entrepreneurs Organization - $1K + $15K in kind Bayer Grants4Apps Accelerator - $10K + support from Bayer Top 100 Tech Startups in Canada - Hello Tomorrow