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PharmaTher fleshes out ketamine delivery portfolio with deal for on-body injector

The ketamine drug delivery deals keep coming. PharmaTher is again involved in the latest agreement, teaming up with CC Biotechnology Corporation (CCBIO) to access a wearable delivery device that should be ready for the clinic early next year.

A desire to improve the delivery of ketamine has underpinned a series of deals over the past year, with PharmaTher teaming up with TSRL to co-develop microneedle patches and Bexson Biomedical its on-body delivery program in partnership with Stevanato. Fresh from another deal, PharmaTher CEO Fabio Chianelli set out the factors driving the activity.

“The current, evolving and future therapeutic use of ketamine is dependent on the control of ketamine dosing to deliver pharmacokinetic profiles specific to each indication. Therefore, our goal is to become a leader in specialty ketamine solutions, which include injectable, intravenous, microneedle patch and now a ketamine wearable device that each serve a unique solution to enable tailored pharmacokinetic profiles for various mental health, neurological and pain disorders,” Chianelli said in a statement.

Chianelli has identified a CCBIO device as a good fit for the strategy, leading PharmaTher to enter into a development deal with the Taiwan-based medtech company. The agreement positions PharmaTher to combine its ketamine formulation with CCBIO’s Felice Dose, a motor system-based on-body injector.

The device is designed to handle dose volumes of 5 mL to 250 mL and has features to minimize the pain of the needle penetrating the skin. PharmaTher is aiming to find out how those features hold up in the clinic in a study that is expected to start in the first quarter of 2023.

By delivering ketamine subcutaneously rather than into the muscle or vein, PharmaTher thinks it may be able to improve safety and efficacy, enhance adherence and reduce the burdens on the people giving and receiving the treatment.