Altea Partners With Amylin and Lilly to Develop 12-Hour Byetta Skin Patch

Buoyed by its recent successful phase 1 human clinical trial of a patch that delivers basal insulin through the skin, Atlanta-based Altea Therapeutics says it will work with Eli Lilly and Company and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., to develop a daily transdermal patch that deliver sustained levels of Byetta (exenatide). The patch, in a 12- and a 24-hour form, will use the company’s proprietary PassPort Transdermal Delivery System. Lilly and Amylin will fund all development, manufacturing, and marketing activities for the product. 

In its basal insulin patch study, Altea tested a 12-hour patch that delivered a steady therapeutic level of insulin to wearers. The company reported that its patch, which substituted for insulin injections, successfully provided sufficient and sustained doses. Because insulin therapy currently requires injections and needles, many patients are resistant to its use. Doctors and healthcare providers are hoping that the convenience and pain-free delivery offered by the insulin patch will encourage people with diabetes to begin insulin therapy sooner. 

Similarly, Amylin and Lilly are hoping that Byetta, its injectable drug for controlling glucose and appetite, will achieve greater use and higher compliance rates if patients can take it in a non-injectable form. Although the drug is self-administered using pens with extremely short, thin needles that produce mild stings at worst, many people still shy away from the drug because of them.

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