Access Pharmaceuticals Inc. is an emerging biopharmaceutical company that develops and commercializes proprietary products for the treatment and support of cancer patients. Yesterday, the company issued an update on its Cobalamin oral drug delivery product development programs, which is under efficacy and application testing.

Cobalamin technology uses vitamin B12 naturally created by the human body to facilitate oral absorption of pharmaceuticals. The company is focused on developing an oral form of insulin and human growth hormone, which currently can only be given through injection. The oral form will offer a more than 80-percent increase in pharmacological response as compared to injection, suggesting the formulation could be used for clinical development and finally, commercialization.

The company’s developments have also led to a Cobalamin human growth hormone formulation, which has thus far demonstrated “good efficacy” in animal models, marked by more than 25% improvement in weight gain. The company said it will continue to move and prepare the products toward clinical development and also said it plans to submit an additional patent application to protect the continued improvements and changes in the technology.

“While Access continues to explore potential collaborations on multiple applications of our technology, our Cobalamin oral insulin product continues to be the focus of current collaborative work,” Phillip Wise, Access’ vice president of Business Development and Strategy stated in the press release. “We continue to work with two companies testing Cobalamin oral insulin in multiple animal models. Meanwhile, we are pursuing options with other companies with the goal of initiating a proof-of-concept in man study.”

Access is utilizing several collaborative agreements to develop its Cobalamin technology. It is also coordinating with additional companies to discuss different applications of the Cobalamin technology to other active drug candidates.

“While Access’ focus has been on the oral delivery of peptides, the technology is sufficiently flexible to allow us to deliver a wide range of actives,” David P. Nowotnik, Ph.D, Access’ senior vice president of R&D stated. “In addition to peptide delivery, we have received inquiries recently about the potential of this technology to deliver actives ranging from small molecules to siRNA to monoclonal antibodies. As siRNA needs to be delivered intracellularly to be effective as a therapeutic, the Cobalamin technology may be particularly beneficial as an intracellular delivery technology, as the demand for vitamin B12 increases in many disease states.”