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The new products have the potential to transform the pain relief market, according to chief executive James Barder. Both products – TPR100 Diclofenac gel and TIB200 Ibuprofen gel – benefit from Futura’s innovative multi-action skin permeation technology, DermaSys®, which offers deeper and more targeted pain relief for up to 12 hours. Earlier studies have shown up to 20 times greater drug penetration through the skin than existing market leading brands. A recent in vivo clinical trial strongly supported these findings, delivering statistically significant efficacy in pain relief.
Barder is convinced that brands need to exploit state-of-the-art delivery technologies in order to maintain market share. “Oral use of painkillers has come under scrutiny, and consumers and health professionals will be looking for alternatives. Current topical pain relief is often ineffective compared to its oral counterparts. Add to this increased concerns over the long term usage of systemic medication and it’s evident that what’s needed is a new generation of topical pain relief.”
Professor Andrew Moore, Director of Pain Research at Nuffield Centre of Anaesthetics, University of Oxford, agrees that existing analgesics often fall short of the mark. “The aim of treating pain is to provide good levels of pain relief, quickly, to as many people as possible. In recent years we have recognised that treatments fail to achieve these aims for a good proportion of people treated.”
The global OTC topical pain relief market for 2015 is estimated to be US$5 billion (Nicholas Hall 2011 indexed to 2015 estimated). Barder is confident that growth will accelerate over the next decade due to the increased incidence of obesity, an ageing population and increased incidence of osteoarthritis.
Osteoarthritis affects 8.75 million people in Britain, a third of the population over the age of 45, with osteoarthritis of the knee affecting 18% of the British population. With UK Medical Research Council predicting that life expectancy will reach 90 by 2030, an ageing population will boost this figure further. “New formulations of oral and topical analgesics have begun to make a real difference, and this has arguably been more important than new pain relief compounds,” says Professor Moore. “New generations of pain relief will contribute to improving the lot of people with pain.”
Futura Medical is already in discussion with partners, including leading brands and generics, to commercialise both products.