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Posted: May 11, 2009
SARM and Nano Ventures Australia to Develop Novel Delivery for Anti-allergy Therapy
(Nanowerk News) Australian nanotechnology firm NanoVentures Australia Ltd (NVA) through its operating company NanoVic Commercial Pty Ltd has reached agreement with Italian pharmaceutical company SARM Allergeni Srl. (SARM) to co-develop technology for the transdermal delivery of the anti-allergy reagent ‘Sarmexall’. Sarmexall is a new formulation designed to de-sensitize sufferers of allergies. Most de-sensitisation is delivered by injection, and the delivery via skin patches would reduce trauma for users, and increase usage.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America estimates that there are 29,000 anaphylactic reactions to foods treated in emergency departments and nearly 200 deaths due to food allergies In the US, each year. Seafood allergies - including scaly fish and shellfish (i.e. crustaceans and molluscs) - are the most common causes of food allergy. Seafood can be a powerful allergen for certain people, causing life-threatening reactions. Seafood allergies are life-long.
SARM is an allergy therapeutics company based in Rome, Italy, and has been operating in the pharmaceutical sector since 1924. SARM currently manufactures products for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of allergies.
The Agreement completed in March and April 2009 is a co-development and licensing agreement. SARM has agreed to supply Sarmexall for formulation into a nanostructured state. NVA will deploy the modified Sarmexall onto its proprietary NanoMAPs: micron-scale patches able to deliver drugs through the skin.
The nanostructuring of Sarmexall will be undertaken by the School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), under an Agreement between UNSW and NVA. SARM will then undertake the in vitro, pre-clinical and clinical testing to evaluate the effectiveness of delivery. Co-development and testing is likely to take three years.
NVA COO Dr Robert Irving commented: “We have been working with SARM for two years already, and are delighted to move into formal co-development. This will be an important development in allergy treatment, significantly reducing the trauma, cost, and hazards of de-sensitization. SARM brings outstanding expertise in allergy therapeutics and treatment, together with global marketing and distribution”.
Formulation of the therapeutic protein commenced in May, led by Prof Neil Foster at the School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, UNSW.
The agreement with SARM is the second major commercialisation outcome for NVA, which was established in February 2009. NVA has a portfolio of other technologies being positioned for commercial development, in medical therapeutics, diagnostics, advanced materials and water analysis and purification.
NVA commercialises nanotechnologies developed by Nanotechnology Victoria Ltd (”NanoVic”), the Victorian Government funded nanotechnology accelerator which operated from 2002 to 2009.