Acuform® is Depomed’s patented, polymer-based technology designed to optimize drug delivery.
The Acuform technology allows for targeted, controlled delivery of pharmaceutical ingredients to the upper gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the preferential absorption site for many oral drugs. Unlike immediate release and some extended release formulations that pass through the upper GI tract within approximately three hours following ingestion, Acuform technology’s unique swelling polymers allow the tablet to be retained in the stomach for approximately eight to ten hours. During this time, the tablet’s active ingredient is steadily delivered to the upper GI tract at the desired rate and time. This gradual, extended release allows for more of the drug to be absorbed in the upper GI tract, offering the potential for greater treatment efficacy and increased treatment tolerability with the convenience of once- or twice-daily dosing.
Proven Technology. Broad Application.
The Acuform technology is used in the formulation of Depomed’s NUCYNTA® ER (tapentadol extended-release tablets) and once-daily Gralise (gabapentin) tablets, as well as in two products marketed by our partners: Salix’s Glumetza® (metformin HCl extended release tablets) and Merck’s Janumet® XR (sitagliptin and metformin HCl extended-release). The Acuform technology is also currently being evaluated internally and with other potential partners for many other compounds.
Tablets utilizing the Acuform technology can be tailored to deliver new drug combinations of varying properties, either simultaneously or sequentially, for a wide array of product possibilities. In particular, the Acuform technology may prove to be an effective delivery solution for compounds that are:
- Absorbed in the upper GI region
- Insoluble in water
- Available through active transport mechanisms
- Irritating to the mucosa of the small intestines
- Imbalancing, irritating, or unsafe in the lower GI region
- More effective when plasma levels have less fluctuation
Acuform technology incorporates standard, inexpensive pharmaceutical excipients that are on the FDA’s inactive ingredients list. The manufacturing process utilizes standard high-speed tableting equipment. Importantly, the improvements made possible with Acuform delivery technology, including reduced dosing requirements, improved efficacy and decreased toxicity, hold the potential to provide patented NCE-like differentiation to already approved therapeutics. These factors make the Acuform technology a potentially attractive option for companies interested in developing improved formulations of off-patent drugs.