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Press Release 2012


Nitto Denko to expand transdermal patch product lineup

Nitto Denko acquires all assets of Altea Therapeutics

Japan’s leading diversified materials manufacturer, Nitto Denko Corporation, today announced that it has acquired all the assets including patents, trademarks and laboratory equipment regarding Active TTS technology of Altea Therapeutics Corporation, a pioneer in innovative transdermal drug delivery systems. As society ages and health issues play an increasingly important role in people’s lives, cutting edge medical technology is becoming critical for development of more advanced medical solutions. The acquisition of Active TTS technology from Altea will allow Nitto Denko to meet growing needs in the medical field and help improve the quality of life for patients across the globe.

Active TTS means Active Transdermal Therapeutic System and the technology allows delivery through the skin of compounds by physically enhancing the absorption.

Acquisition objective

In the past Nitto Denko has had great success with the development and marketing of transdermal drug delivery patches. These patches can be self-applied and allow the controlled release of medications directly into the patient’s skin. Patches are able to deliver drugs into the patient’s bloodstream over a prolonged period of time and at a stable release rate, thereby largely eliminating side effects and vastly improving effectiveness. Although Nitto Denko currently has the highest global market share for conventional transdermal drug delivery patches for asthma and angina the company is not content to rest on its laurels and is always proactively seeking out future opportunities and advanced technologies which provide superior solutions to customers.

Conventional drug delivery patches are subject to some limitations which limit the range of drugs which can be delivered in this manner. Only a restricted range of molecules are able to be absorbed through the skin and therefore take advantage of Nitto Denko’s drug delivery patch systems. The drug molecules need to be lipid-soluble in order to permeate the skin. This has only been possible for those drugs with a molecular weight of less than 500 Daltons. Thus medications with larger molecules cannot be delivered using conventional patch systems. Injections or drip infusion is necessary for delivery of these medications. Thanks to this acquisition Nitto Denko will now be able to offer a solution, called the PassPort™ System which will allow a wider range of medications to be delivered transdermally. With this acquisition Nitto Denko provides tremendous product opportunities in addition to traditional transdermal drug delivery technologies which provide additional convenience, safety and cost effectiveness.

The PassPort™ advanced drug delivery system

The PassPort™ system is an innovative active TTS solution which combines thermal Micro-poration technology and patch technology. Micro-poration means making pores on the surface of the skin using heat in a safe and hygienic manner. Voltage is supplied to an array of filaments which instantly create plural micropores in the outer layer of the patient’s skin. The patch containing the drug is then applied to the skin where the pores were made and the drug delivery begins. Peptide and proteins are examples of the high molecular weight drugs which can be used in this manner. Optimizing the number and size of the pores and the patch formulation allows control of the drug delivery rate. This can be as fast as an injection or as slow as a drip depending on the particular needs of the patient.

Perhaps the most important advantage of the PassPort™ system for patients is the elimination of the necessity of regular injections for those suffering from severe conditions requiring daily injections. The PassPort™ provides additional convenience and safety and significantly reduces the problem of therapy non-compliance. PassPort™ is a painless and cost effective solution for patients requiring regular medication which would normally require injections or infusion via drip. 

The PassPort™ system

About Altea Therapeutics

Headquarters: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Founded: 1998
Business scope: Development of transdermal patch drug delivery system
Main technology: Passport system

About Nitto Denko

Founded in 1918, Nitto Denko is Japan’s leading diversified materials manufacturer offering over 13,000 high-value-added products to the global market. Nitto Denko’s strength lies in its flexibility to add diverse functionalities to sheets, films and other materials, fully utilizing its core technologies such as polymer synthesis, adhesion and coating. The Nitto Denko group’s wide spectrum of specialities include optical films for liquid crystal displays, automotive materials, reverse osmosis membranes for seawater desalination, transdermal drug delivery systems, and much more. Nitto Denko is traded on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE). Total net sales in fiscal year 2010 amounted to US$7.7 billion. The company consists of 107 subsidiaries across the globe and employs over 33,000 people.


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