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Take 2: Hanmi relaunches liver drug after boosting bioavailabilityv

Hanmi Pharmaceutical has relaunched its liver function drug after using its microemulsion technology to improve the absorption rate, thereby addressing a limitation of the original formulation.

Korea’s Hanmi identified silymarin, an extract from traditional liver condition treatment milk thistle, as a way to support hepatic function. However, the crude silymarin extract is lipophilic and poorly soluble in water. Other researchers have found 20% to 50% of the extract is absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract after ingestion, leading multiple groups to work to improve bioavailability.

Hanmi recently shared details of its work on the challenge. Korea Biomedical Review carried an English language version of the news. Both reports describe the use of Hanmi’s self-microemulsifying drug delivery system to silymarin.

“As various gatherings increase due to relaxed social distancing policy, interests in liver health management are also growing. Silyman has significantly increased the absorption rate of silymarin, which has been confirmed to be effective in liver cell protection and liver function improvement,” a spokesperson for Hanmi said.

By finely dividing the silymarin particles, Hanmi claims to have more than doubled the bioavailability of the molecule compared to conventional hard capsules. The project has led the company to relaunch its silymarin product, Silyman, to bring the benefits of the microemulsion technology to market. Hanmi has a long history in microemulsion, having transferred technology to Novartis back in the 1990s.

The latest application of the technology has resulted in two forms of Silyman. Hanmi has made the product available in pouch packaging as well as in a 100-capsule pack designed to be kept at home or in the office.