Mercia Fund Management, a leading investment business in UK innovation and wholly owned subsidiary of Mercia Technologies, has committed follow-on capital to Medherant Ltd, a University of Warwick spin-out developing a novel patch technology for delivery of a variety of drugs.
Medherant’s patch, known as the TEPI-patch, is a thin, strong, easy-to-apply and easy-to-remove patch capable of delivering higher doses of drugs directly to the areas where they are needed. The therapy is delivered by the patch during a period of 1–12 hours or more, depending on the patient’s requirements and the drug being administered.
The technology, which is initially being developed for Ibuprofen and methyl salicylate (used in topical pain relief), is capable of working with a wide range of products, including drugs that have failed clinical trials because of their unsuitability for oral consumption. The patches are easy to manufacture because, unlike other patch technologies, this does not involve the use of any solvents. They can also use less material, so this technology also has the potential to relieve huge cost burdens from healthcare systems.
The investment, which totals £250,000 from both Mercia’s third-party University Growth Fund and Growth Fund 4, will allow Medherant to exploit the high levels of interest in its technology following significant recent media reporting. The investment will also be used to enable the company to continue product development.
Since Mercia’s first investment last June 2015, the company has secured an exclusive deal with Bostik SA, a leading adhesive specialist, to use a novel pressure-sensitive adhesive material in the development of the patch. Medherant has also moved to new laboratories, and has validated that its technology works successfully on drugs that were previously not suitable for transdermal delivery.
During this time, Medherant has worked closely with Mercia’s Head of Technology Transfer, Dr Nicola Broughton, who commented: “It is wonderful to see Medherant achieve such impressive results, whilst still being at a relatively early stage in its development. Medherant, which is a spinout from our partner the University of Warwick, is testament to the potential that lies within the Midlands in Life Sciences & Bio-Sciences, and I look forward to the continued relationship with the team.”
Nigel Davis, CEO of Medherant Ltd, said: “Medherant has benefitted from a lot of commercial and media interest during the past few months, and we are grateful to Nicola and Mercia for their support as we continue to harness this awareness and build on our existing patch technology.”